This secret about the Queen's garden parties might surprise royal fans

You won't believe how many cups of tea are required...

The Queen's annual garden parties at Buckingham Palace finally made a return this May after the monarch was forced to postpone the annual event for two years due to ongoing pandemic restrictions.

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Traditionally, the Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to spend a relaxed summer afternoon in the beautiful gardens of Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The official royal website reads: "Garden parties are an important way for Her Majesty to speak to a broad range of people from all walks of life, all of whom have made a positive impact in their community."

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WATCH: Kate Middleton reunites with old friend at the Queen's garden party

It's estimated around 8,000 guests attend each garden party on a strictly invite-only basis. And of course, those lucky enough to secure an invite are also encouraged to enjoy tea, cake, sandwiches and other light refreshments prepared by the palace kitchens.

If you're thinking that must be a lot of cups of tea, it is. It's 27,000 cups of tea per garden party, to be exact!

SEE: The Queen's age-defying daily diet revealed: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Thousands of guests assemble at Buckingham Palace gardens in 1998

At a typical royal garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. Some 400 waiting staff are involved in the serving.

The staggering number was confirmed by the royal family's official website.

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Despite the Queen's annual garden parties marking an important event in the royal calendar, the 96-year-old monarch was unable to attend this year's festivities due to ongoing "episodic mobility issues."

In her place, the likes of Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward and even Princess Beatrice have made appearances at this year's lavish affairs.

Duchess Kate stunned in a bespoke dress at Wednesday's garden party

On Wednesday this week, Duchess Kate donned a stunning bespoke tea dress in mint green, complete with pie crust collar, elegant bishop's sleeves and a statement button-down bodice.

The Duchess paired her vintage-style dress with striking accessories, including a tilted Philip Treacey hat and aquamarine earrings from Carousel Jewels - the perfect garden party attire.

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