Prince William was at the forefront of the royals who braved the wet and windy weather on Tuesday, 21 May as they welcomed community leaders to a rather damp Buckingham Palace garden party. The Prince of Wales was accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, representing King Charles for the third Royal gathering of the year.

As they stepped out onto the palace steps overlooking the rear gardens, they were greeted by a sea of umbrellas while the national anthem played. Approximately 8,000 guests were invited to honour the work of volunteers, military personnel, and members of the public.

Prince William
Prince William and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester braved the rain during the Sovereign's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, 21 May

During the garden party, William mingled with guests from various patronages of both the Prince and Princess of Wales, military affiliations, and so-called "passion projects". This includes his project, Homewards, aimed at combating homelessness in the UK, RAF Valley where he served as a search and rescue pilot from 2010 to 2013, Swim England, and tenants across Duchy of Cornwall sites.

Royal insiders revealed that William personally invited other "young members" of the Royal Family to join him for the day, including Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara and Mike Tindall, and Peter Phillips. King Charles and Queen Camilla, who hosted the first two garden parties this year, including one last week celebrating the creative industries, were not present at today's event, reports the Mirror.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
Princess Beatrice (front) and Princess Eugenie joined their cousin William for the Garden Party
Zara Tindall
Zara Tindall looked stunning in a white buttoned dress as she shielded herself with an umbrella

The King, aged 75, is currently undergoing weekly cancer treatment in London and is expected to return to his duties later this week. The Prince of Wales last hosted a garden party to celebrate community heroes last May, alongside his wife the Princess of Wales and the Princess Royal.

Kate, 42, has taken a leave of absence away from Royal duties after she revealed in a heartbreaking public statement that she had been diagnosed with cancer. The Princess is undergoing preventative chemotherapy treatment and will not return to duties for the foreseeable future and until she is cleared to do so by doctors, it is understood.

Prince of Wales
The Prince of Wales mingled with guests during the Royal Garden Party
Princess Eugenie
Royal insiders revealed that William personally invited other "young members" of the Royal Family to join him for the day, including his cousin Princess Eugenie

However, earlier, Kate was credited as the "driving force" behind a brand new report today that could boost the UK economy by £45.5 billion a year. The princess has been following the work of chief executives she convened last year as part of a Royal Foundation Business Taskforce for Early Childhood to galvanise business action on the importance of the formative years of a child's development.

It has been revealed that Kate has been kept fully up to date throughout the process and the development of the task force's work and had seen the report in advance. But despite the update, Kensington Palace stressed that the launch of the report did not signal the princess "returning to work".

Zara Tindall
Zara during the Sovereign's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

A report from eight leading UK companies, released today, highlights five areas where businesses of all sizes can support children under five and their caregivers. This comes after Kate Middleton assembled the Business Taskforce last year to contribute to her "vision for the future" regarding early childhood development.