Prince Charles, Sophie Wessex and Princess Anne host garden party – but The Queen stays away

Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Princess Anne hosted guests at a stunning garden party this afternoon – while the Queen did not attend despite being in residence.

The royal family is on a trip to Scotland to mark the annual Holyrood Week, which takes place between the end of June and beginning of July. It sees the Queen, 96, and her family members tour around Scotland meeting Scots from all walks of life.

A key feature of the visit is today’s garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which recognises Scots’ good work in the community.

Stepping in for the Queen, the Countess of Wessex wore a dusty pink dress complete with white stilettos and understated silver jewellery, while the Princess Royal wore a jewel-coloured teal frock with a light blue jacket and a white hat to greet guests.

Earlier in the day, Her Majesty met with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Alison Johnstone, the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament.

Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence posed for photos as they welcomed guests to the garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Edward, Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence posed for photos as they welcomed guests to the garden party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

Princess Anne, who wore a jewel-coloured teal dress and a light blue coat, chatted to guests as the garden party got underway at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Princess Royal welcomed guests to the garden party this afternoon

Princess Anne, who wore a jewel-coloured teal dress and a light blue coat, chatted to guests as the garden party got underway at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Prince Charles (pictured with Sophie Wessex) stepped out to host the party alongside his siblings and their partners

Prince Charles (pictured with Sophie Wessex) stepped out to host the party alongside his siblings and their partners

The Prince of Wales wore a suit with tails and carried a top hat in one hand and an umbrella in the other

The Prince of Wales wore a suit with tails and carried a top hat in one hand and an umbrella in the other

Prince Edward smiled as he greeted guests while wearing a top had and sporting a red carnation on his lapel

Prince Edward smiled as he greeted guests while wearing a top had and sporting a red carnation on his lapel

In a meeting at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Ms Sturgeon gave The Queen several gifts including a limited edition bottle of whisky. The meeting came just a day after Ms Sturgeon announced she was proposing to hold a second Scottish Independence Referendum on 19 October 2023.

But at the same venue this afternoon the Queen appeared to be absent while three of her children greeted guests who had been invited to the garden party.

Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Edward appeared at the party and posed for a family photo, alongside Sophie Wessex and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

The Holyrood Week trip is the first time the Queen has been spotted alongside the Royal Family since the Platinum Jubilee earlier this month.

On Monday the monarch was accompanied by Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex at the traditional opening of the week. The Earl and Countess of Fofar, as they are known in Scotland, appeared alongside the Queen in Edinburgh at the historic Ceremony of the Keys.

Prince Charles appeared to adjust his tie as onlookers smiled while he greeted guests at the garden party

Prince Charles appeared to adjust his tie as onlookers smiled while he greeted guests at the garden party

Prince Edward met with guests from all over Scotland, who were invited in recognition of their community work

Prince Edward met with guests from all over Scotland, who were invited in recognition of their community work

Pretty in pink! Sophie Wessex wore a sleek dusty pink dress with a pink hat and fascinator as she welcomed guests

Pretty in pink! Sophie Wessex wore a sleek dusty pink dress with a pink hat and fascinator as she welcomed guests

The Countess of Wessex was all smiles as she welcomed guests to the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Countess of Wessex was all smiles as she welcomed guests to the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The mother-of-two looked the picture of elegance, wearing understated jewellery and a silver watch as she welcomed guests to the party

The mother-of-two looked the picture of elegance, wearing understated jewellery and a silver watch as she welcomed guests to the party

During the ceremony, the the Queen is presented with the key to Edinburgh, the ‘ancient and hereditary kingdom of Scotland’. As is tradition, she then returns them to elected officials in the city for safekeeping.

The Queen beamed at the ceremony on Monday while appearing with a walking stick.  Buckingham Palace has said she is suffering from ‘episodic mobility problems’ which sometimes mean she has to use walking aids.

Prior to the the Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking her 70th year on the throne earlier in June the monarch had pulled out of several appearances including the state opening of Parliament in May.

Stepping in, Prince Charles and Prince William instead attended the House of Lords where the Prince of Wales delivered the Queen’s Speech.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wore a light pink suit and posed for a selfie with one of the garden party guests

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wore a light pink suit and posed for a selfie with one of the garden party guests

The First Minister appeared to become an unofficial photographer for the event as she also took photos of other guests

The First Minister appeared to become an unofficial photographer for the event as she also took photos of other guests

Prince Charles welcomed a group of smartly-dressed garden party guests who came wearing traditional Scottish tartan and hats

Prince Charles welcomed a group of smartly-dressed garden party guests who came wearing traditional Scottish tartan and hats

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met with the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse earlier today, arrived at the garden party

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who met with the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse earlier today, arrived at the garden party

The First Minister, who gifted the Queen a limited edition bottle of whisky, chatted to other guests

The First Minister, who gifted the Queen a limited edition bottle of whisky, chatted to other guests

Prince Charles took the reins in hosting the garden party, stepping in for his mother while donning a pinstripe suit and tails

Prince Charles took the reins in hosting the garden party, stepping in for his mother while donning a pinstripe suit and tails

Prince Charles appeared to share a joke with one of the garden party guests as he greeted her

Prince Charles appeared to share a joke with one of the garden party guests as he greeted her

Hundreds of people from across Scotland were invited to the annual garden party in recognition of their work

Hundreds of people from across Scotland were invited to the annual garden party in recognition of their work

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