Queen misses veterans' garden party at Buckingham Palace

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Princess Anne welcomed veterans at a garden party in Buckingham Palace in the Queen's absence.

More than 2,000 people attended Thursday's annual event for the Not Forgotten Association, which was held for the first time since the pandemic.

Royal Garden party season is under way this week at Buckingham Palace, despite the Queen's absence due to health issues.

Her Majesty gave permission for the event to take place, with Princess Royal hosting guests as the organisation's patron.

Veterans aged 20 to 102 were joined by celebrities including Anton Du Beke, Jeremey Vine and Vanessa Feltz.

The first event for the charity was held in 1921.

Tom Richardson, 59, who is from Essex, began his military career in 1973 by joining the army cadets and enjoyed the chance to meet old friends at the palace.

"You always get a good feeling," he said.

"You see people you have only seen once or twice and then you see people that you actually know. I have met quite a few people and you get a chance to bond again."

He joined the Parachute Regiment in 1979, was posted to 2 Para and was a full corporal when he left in 1988, with tours which included the Falklands, Belize and Northern Ireland.

The Queen has missed several events this year, including the Queen's Speech, and has instead carried out virtual engagements.

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