The Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

I recently had the wonderful honour of attending the Queens Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

So many people have asked me ‘how does one get to be invited to such a prestigious event?’

It’s a simple yet wonderful story of friendship and how an instant understanding of how beliefs and ideas can sometimes gel when you meet someone for the first time.

A while ago, I invited the Lebanese journalist and actress Lena Kay to be a speaker at an event I organised with the kindness of Lord Eames at the House of Lords for  International Women’s day. Prior to the event, we sat together in a Lebanese restaurant enjoying the wonderfully similar cuisine of my grandmother’s recipes when she lived in Lebanon many years ago.

We discussed the agenda and my vision of the event and we shared many ideas about possible collaboration in the future. It was a really joyful evening and it was clear that a great working relationship and even a potential friendship was in the making.

As I reflected on that evening, I thought how lovely it is that in London things like that can happen and how different cultures can come together with such positive harmony. I then got a WhatsApp message from Lena the following day asking me if I wanted to come to the Royal Garden Party as her guest and I of course replied with a resounding YES!

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Posing for the camera at the Hilton London Kensington Hotel

Photos by Daniel Balica

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Off to the Palace wearing the most comfortable wedges by Pons Quintana

IMG_9686 Searching for the end of the queue, but every moment was a joy! 

Leading up to the special day, I had to decide what to wear.
My love of vintage clothes took me to Camden Town and Notting Hill and then on to the Sunday vintage fair in Hammersmith, where I often find unique dresses for my performances.
The world is so small and I was so lucky to end up speaking to a wonderful lady about the Palace Garden Party and what I should wear and some of the rules and guidelines that I should follow.
She spoke with authority as she was herself in those parties and events and she even showed me the dress and hat she wore to the last garden party.
I loved the dress and fascinator immediately and bought it.
Though it was beautiful, I knew I could work with my dressmaker and with some changes, I could make it even more special and uniquely mine!
The joy of seeing so many beautiful dresses and hats on that day is a treat for someone who loves fashion.
Beautiful pastel colours and flowers dominated the afternoon and interestingly many people were wearing dresses from the collection of the talented Ted Baker.
Everyone looked wonderful.
Suprise, suprise it rained on the day and one tip that I would share with you is not to wear high heals on wet grass.
I’m so pleased I chose wedges and they were not only great on the grass but so comfortable for the hours of standing required.
If you have the privilege of being invited to the Garden Party, can I suggest that you turn up early as it takes so long to get in and then to stand in various queues for delicious cakes and canapés. You can imagine how everyone wants to see the Queen, which involves  yet more queuing and standing about in the hope of talking to Her Majesty.
The personalised invitations offered helpful tips regarding protocols such as not taking photographs and not bringing in our mobiles, though some people flouted these instructions and those that did, were promptly reprimanded by security personnel.
I was shocked by the sheer volume of guests which can range from four to eight thousand, so if you are invited, do plan ahead as much as you can and don’t leave anything to the last moment.
Also, don’t underestimate the time it takes to move around the stunning grounds and then you can really enjoy the once in a lifetime Buckingham Palace experience .

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The best Vanilla Ice Cream in the World by Marshfield Farm 

 

IMG_9691From Top to Toe 

Handmade fascinator, Jacket, Dress – http://www.vintagevalentina.net, Hair  by Anna Hannon -Supercut, Earings – Sally Greville-Smith and Vintage bag  – Hammersith Vintage Fair, Chanel neckless.

Dressmaker – Bozena Wnorowska

Wedges – Pons Quintana.

Makeup : Eyeshadow – Diorshow Mono 616 Pulse,  Mascara – Diorshow Black, Lipstick -Chanel – 90 Pimpante, Eyeliner – Long-wear Gel – Bobbi Brown, Foundation – Mac  Studio Tech and Sunbasque Blush, Primer Hourglass – Mineral Primer, Secret Brightening powder- Laura Mercier,  Eye Base Essentials – Linen Trish Mcevoy, Eyelashes – Salonsystem, Nails polish- Essie Limo-Scene.

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United Nations International Women’s Day 2013 Event at the House of Common

What a fascinating evening I had last night in the House of Common for

United Nations International Women’s Day 2013.

The event was Hosted by Mr. Virendra Sharma MP and there were

so many inspiring women on the panel includes –

Lady Fiona Hodgson, chairman of GAPS – ( Gender action in peace security )

Charlotte Simon Co – Founder of Mothers in Congo.

Baroness Oona King of Bow – Diversity Executive as channel 4.

Brita Fernandez Schmidt – Executive Director – Woman For Woman.

Baroness Meral Hussein – Ece OBE.

Cllr. Mimi Harker OBE , Mayor of Amersham. Seema Malhotra, MP, PPS

and the wonderful  lady that was behind all the organisation of that event

                                        Margaret  Keverian Ali Director of UPF.

You can imagine  with such a team of ladies how interesting was the event .

The main subject was violence towards women in the world .

I was shocked to hear stories about rapes and murdering women from babies to adult .

The only positive side of the event was to see the other side of the world, people that gives their  life to make a change for a better world.

We as individuals , can also contribute by spreading  the message around the world ,  Focus on the right campaigns and the most important,

 make politicians  more aware of situation  and take actions !

Woman  were always the minority in the high positions  through history but we have the inner voice and  the power and when we comes to  positions

  We  make the change .

That was the main message from all the ladies on the panel that got to those high positions  and encourage us to do so as well.

Get into your  local communities , or get involve there are  so many organisations that needs your help now .

For  me as a singer songwriter that write about positive things –

changing and making a better life,

it was a real boost of inspiration !

 I was asked at the end of the evening to sing a song.

The truth was that I wasn’t prepared at all  and my voice wasn’t warm to sing but it was such a moving event , with so many passionate people , so  I wanted to contribute as well and my way is with songs.

I chose to sing my song My River and sang it acapella

 The song is  apparition for the goodness that we have and a prayer  for a better place .

My River

When the sun is shining
I am looking at my river
Seeing all that left behind
Fading far away.
I am looking at my river
Seeing Thy reflection
I smile to you with gratitude
For all the goodness that I haveI am talking to my river
When I feel your distance
I pray to you with all my heart
To wash my tears away

I listen to my river
In silence I can hear you
sings through me just words of love
Then I know that you are there .