Kew Palace, 21 April 2006
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her 80th birthday at Kew Palace.
Prince Charles had taken a great interest in Historic Royal Palaces’ ten-year restoration of Kew Palace, which was completed in early 2006.
It was soon after the restoration was finished that he arranged to host a private dinner at the palace to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's 80th birthday.
Two centuries between meals
Not since George III stayed at the palace in private had a monarch dined at Kew, two hundred years before.
On 21 April, before dinner, 26 close members of the Royal Family, along with a crowd of two thousand well wishers, enjoyed the Prince of Wales’s magnificent birthday gift of a firework display over Kew Gardens.
The Queen’s party then all fitted into Kew’s small dining room.
Simple, English food
The party enjoyed simple, English food. The BBC reported they had: ‘Hebridean smoked salmon, Juniper-roast loin of Sandringham Estate venison and birthday chocolate sponge cake filled with a Highgrove fruit filling.’
It was still much richer, however, than George III’s frugal meal of mutton chops shared in the same dining room in 1804 with his former Prime Minister, Lord Sidmouth.