How to throw a party at the palace

When Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, told us that she was throwing a summer party at Kensington Palace in aid of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection we immediately knew that it would be no ordinary event. An intimate gathering of 100 influencers from Demi Moore to Giles Deacon, it was crucial that the stationery lived up to the task. With invitations, menus and more to consider, a soiree such as this required the expertise of our in-house Bespoke Stationery Team.

So, how do you make an event live up to royal standards? Let us show you.

Kensington Palace in Summer

Smythson Invitations for the Kensington Palace Summer Party
Bruising on the back of engraved stationery

Step 1. The Invitation

Whether it is hand-delivered or through the letter box, the invitation creates a memorable first impression. Printed on our specially milled Ermine White Laid paper, the Summer Party invite was presented in a gold tissue lined envelope to match the bevelled gold edge on the invitation. A nod to Kensington Palace itself, it included an elegant illustration of the historic façade in the palace’s signature shade of pink. Handcrafted by our artisans in England, our stationery is made using copperplate engraving techniques, distinguished by the trademark bruising on the back.

Smythson at Kensington Palace
Smythson Escort Cards

Step 2. The Pour Mémoire

For those guests who will be attending the party, it is customary to send a second (more pocket friendly) invitation with more detail about the night’s activities. Whilst you may not be having a red carpet reception, information about dress code, speeches and carriages is always appreciated.

Step 3. The Escort Card

Traditionally used so that each gentleman present knew which lady they were due to accompany through to dinner, escort cards are now presented to guests as they arrive with their table number. For the Summer Party at Kensington Palace our craftsmen created tiny cards, housed within tiny envelopes, to helpfully guide guests to the right place.

The Kings Gallery at Kensington Palace

Smythson Menu for the Summer Party at Kensington Palace
Smythson Bespoke Stationery Table Setting

Step 4. The Menu

The dinner is often the main event of a formal occasion, reflecting the tone of the rest of the evening. Printing your menu in all its glory not only allows guests to excitedly anticipate each delicious course but also pays tribute to all of your careful consideration. Featuring the same lettering styles and gold edging used on the invitation, the Summer Party menu took guests through the evening’s culinary journey from amuse bouche to the sommelier’s selection.

Now all that is left to do is don your finest ballgown and wait for the guests to arrive (palace or no)…

Summer Party

To enquire about bespoke stationery, please contact our team at or alternatively call us on +44 (0)845 8732435.

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