Queen Elizabeth Broke Her Own Royal Protocol
But we're not mad about it.
It's not every day you get to meet the queen and it's certainly not every day that she breaks a royal rule when it happens. According to People, Laura-Ann Barr, a blogger based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, managed to snag an invite to the queen's garden party at Buckingham Palace — but that wasn't all. When she was there, she also accomplished something nobody else had: she gifted the queen with a bouquet of flowers. Barr posted the exchange on Instagram, where her followers could hear her compliment her majesty's outfit before she had the flower hand-off.
"I didn't see anyone else with flowers," she told People. "I suppose it's not really meant to be done at a garden party, but I was only going to have one chance of meeting the Queen and I was going to give it my all. I bought them at the tube station flower shop that morning and had them in my handbag going through the gates."
After the queen accepted the flowers, she handed the bouquet to one of her ladies in waiting, who told Barr that the queen would get the blooms back when she got back inside. The major rule breaking happened when the queen took the flowers. It's never happened before and even before she got to have her time with the queen, Barr was told that the monarch doesn't ever accept flowers at garden parties.
"They did inform me that, unfortunately, she would not stop to accept them as it's not protocol and if I'm lucky her lady-in-waiting might spot them and accept them on her behalf," she added. "I think they were very shocked when it happened!"
"The security staff congratulated me and said they were surprised she stopped and accepted the flowers," Barr said. "They said that had not happened ever before."
Barr's got some experience with the royals. She's met both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, as well as Princes Harry and William. She told People that flowers are a surefire way to get any royal's attention. She also chose her spot strategically, standing with her mom at the entrance of the royal tea tent. She knew that the queen would have to walk by her to get to the event's festivities.
"While everyone was sheltering from the rain in the normal tea tents, mum and I stood for over an hour at the entrance of the royal tent with our umbrellas up patiently waiting, hopeful we would have the best chance of seeing her up close and possibly meeting her," Barr explained.
The royal garden parties date back to the 1860s and are a way for the royals to "recognize and reward public service." It's also a way for commoners like Barr to get up close and personal with the royal family. Getting the queen to break the rules is just a bonus.