Women and Digital Inclusion

WODIN Attends the Buckingham Palace Garden Party

Sharing is caring!

The Royal Family hosted the first annual Garden Party of 2024 at Buckingham Palace on May 8th – and representatives from WODIN were honoured to be invited along!

This prestigious event marked the beginning of a series of four annual Garden Parties held by the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyrood House, welcoming around 30,000 guests each year, alongside a few special gatherings. King Charles III and Queen Camilla were joined by the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester to host the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace

The event commenced with the Royal Family standing for the national anthem before mingling with some of the 8,000 guests as they made their way towards the Royal Tea Tent, where they continued to meet and greet the attendees. Among the distinguished guests were Sylvia Kalungi and her husband Paul, representing WODIN. 

Despite train strikes and after 4.5 hours on the road, WODIN accepted His Majesty the King’s invitation. It was a beautiful, sunny, and truly auspicious day. With thousands of good and great people standing in the gap for society both nationally and globally, the team felt both in awe and excited. We travelled by mini-coach with the Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mrs Natalie Billing, and her husband, Mr Collin, the head of cardiac surgery at Alder Hey Hospital, Dr Ram D., and the head of clinical nursing, Dr Alan B. 

Speaking of the day, Syl Kalungi, said: “Words can’t explain how grateful to our community and stakeholders for making WODIN what it is today and to the chair of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association for nominating WODIN. We serve with soul!”

Women and Digital Inclusion

Sylvia recounts the initial surprise of receiving the invitation: “I thought someone was trying a fast one… honestly, I did when I received the letter in February stating: ‘By the order of His Majesty the King, you are invited by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside to tea at Buckingham Palace….’ I thought…you having a laugh, right? Why me? So, I let the letter sit on the side table until the chairman of the Liverpool Commonwealth Association, I call him boss, or “Sir” Garth Dallas, called and confirmed that it was true!”

“I felt humbled and excited at the same time. Those in most difficulty have a helping hand from all these amazing leaders and organisations, over 8,000 of us. Celebrating Charity, Goodness, and Mercy as well as the life of His Majesty the King and the Royal Family. I attended wearing several hats. As myself, a wife with my rock and husband, Dr. Kalungi. As a friend, a community leader, the Founder of Women & Digital Inclusion, the reason I was invited, I guess! As a black woman standing on the ground representing ’empire’ in a free world. I also wore the hat of ‘a chief’ aka Omwami wa’Kabaka Maaso Moogi King of Buganda, His Majesty Ronald Muwenda Mutebi, thus the blue robe…” 

“I was there in pure gratitude to my sister, Rose Ssali, CEO of SAWN, for being the beacon that shone the light showing me another way to show up in my life and serve. So I choose to shine my light for other women, for the underdog, for the underserved, for the global majority treated as minorities… I commit going forward to serve with even more zeal.”

Women and Digital Inclusion

In a nostalgic moment, Julie recalls a childhood memory: “And finally, I hugged my young self, little Syl, who used to sing a wee song that went something like: ’tiloli tiloli tailor man, I am going to London to see the king…’ I truly believed this song in my head; I would even make tea in my little plastic doll set and imagine drinking tea with a king! 

Why am I sharing all this? Because I believe that when you do what you do with soul, serve with joy, with gratitude, when you serve with one heart, when you let go and let God, allow that mighty power to be your beacon, the rest falls into place!” 

Julie’s experience at the Buckingham Palace Garden Party is a testament to the power of community, gratitude, and service. WODIN is proud to have been represented at such a prestigious event, and we look forward to continuing our mission with renewed passion and commitment. Find out more about volunteering with WODIN on our website. 

68 / 100