Annual Garden Party at Buckingham Palace Honours War Pensioners and Service Personnel

Annual Garden Party at Buckingham Palace Honours War Pensioners and Service Personnel – London, 17th May 2024

With the kind permission of His Majesty The King, the annual Not Forgotten Garden Party at Buckingham Palace was held on the 17th of May 2024. This esteemed event, organised for the benefit of War Pensioners and service personnel who have received compensation from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, brought together more than 2,000 beneficiaries of all ages and services, along with their carers and escorts.

The Garden Party was graciously hosted by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne. Among the distinguished guests were the Blackpool FC Community Trust Engagement Team members, who were delighted to be part of such a significant occasion.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of our Armed Forces Volunteer, Marrianna Proietti, to Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, retired Royal Navy officer and husband of Princess Anne. They shared a meaningful conversation about their service experiences and Marrianna’s impactful work with the Blackpool FC Community Trust and The Not Forgotten Charity.

Marrianna spoke about this experience and discussed how football and volunteering play a vital role, in supporting her own mental health and well-being with her experiences of post-traumatic stress disorder, leaving the Army in 2002 after being medically discharged.

They discussed the importance of sport within the veteran’s community and what BFCCT do for veterans of all ages from NAAFI Break, Veterans Breakfast Clubs and Forces Football, creating lasting and meaningful memories. Overall, this was a fabulous day and all veterans and attendees enjoyed themselves immensely, it made them realise as veterans they will never be forgotten.

Ian McCleary, Community Engagement Armed Forces Officer, also attended the event. Reflecting on the experience, Ian stated,

“It was an honour to attend this once-in-a-lifetime experience in the gardens of Buckingham Palace with a sense of pride in supporting the Armed Forces Community through Blackpool FC Community Trust across the Fylde Coast each day.”

Looking to the future, Ian expressed enthusiasm about continuing to work closely with The Not Forgotten Charity.

“We look forward to continuing this partnership between the two charities, ensuring that veterans in Blackpool have the opportunity to attend their events, helping to bring back the camaraderie and support positive mental health.”

For many of the attendees, the Garden Party was a profound honour and the impact of which cannot be overstated.

The event provided an invaluable opportunity to learn more about The Not Forgotten Charity, established in 1920 to support veterans and wounded serving personnel. The charity focuses on improving physical and mental health, addressing isolation and loneliness, and fostering a sense of community and balance.

For further information, please email: or call: 01253 348691