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Last Updated: Monday, 23 July 2007, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Caravans pitch up at royal home
A man and a caravan
Thousands of caravan enthusiasts will be at Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace was partly transformed into a caravan park for a celebration dedicated to the ever-popular activity.

The Duke of Edinburgh hosted a special garden party to mark the Caravan Club's 100th anniversary.

Some 7,500 specially-invited caravanners were at the event.

Prince Philip has been patron of the club since 1952, but the organisation refused to confirm whether the Duke had ever spent the night in a motor home.

It did confirm, however, that the 86-year-old prince has been inside numerous caravans over the years, saying he was "quite involved".

It's great fun - it's not an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy thing
Cheryl Baker

Speaking from the event, celebrity caravanner Cheryl Baker said there was stigma attached to caravanning.

The former Bucks Fizz singer said: "It's great fun - it's not an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy thing.

"Caravans have all the mod cons."

Caravan Club head Trevor Watson said caravanning was relatively good for the environment.

"It's very good ecologically," he said.

"The amount of electricity and water you use - it's a fraction of what you would use in a hotel.

"The impact on the countryside is minimal."

'Royal Caravan'

Three caravans were pitched in the palace's quadrangle.

One of the caravans on show at the palace actually belongs to the Princess Royal.

The Royal Caravan, which dates from 1955, has an ash frame and is clad in aluminium.

It was originally given to Princess Anne and Prince Charles when they were children, but it was later refurbished for the club's 75th anniversary and re-presented to Anne.

Also on display were the Wanderer, which dates from the 1880s and was the very first leisure touring caravan, and the caravan of the future - the Cargo S - a hi-tech bubble-shaped prototype with a modern interior.

Among other celebrity caravanners at the event were actress Linda Robson and Olympic athlete Jamie Baulch.

Former foreign secretary and keen caravanner Margaret Beckett was not at the event because of a prior engagement, the Caravan Club said.

Are you a caravan enthusiast? Did you attend the garden party?

We would like to thank the Club for arranging a well organised event. The offer of a cool drink on arrival after queueing was a nice touch.(If only the weather had been hot). It was good to see members enjoying a Royal Garden Party instead of a rally field.
Anthony Webb, Croydon UK

A very well organised event. The parking arrangements were exceptionally good. Despite the rain my daughter and I had a very enjoyable afternoon. There was a very friendly atmosphere but then the caravanners are friendly people. It was a shame we could not take photos in the gardens.
Jackie Burnett, Sittingbourne, Kent

Just back home from attending the Garden Party. The rain held off till the Duke arrived - so everyone was able to have a look around, grab a cup of tea of perhaps have a chat with the Duke. We were right opposite him as he moved into the crowd', but I was keen on having another cuppa so went back to the tea tent. This was even bigger than the awning we have on our caravan! We then took a stroll around the garden, listened to one of the bands play, then a spot of ice cream before deciding to come home. Well arranged, and interesting to get just a glimpse of the Palace.
Paul & Alison Wildsmith, Nailsea, North Somerset

We will be there (less caravan)! We have been members for 15+ years, and get about 35 nights away each year - generally in the most beautiful parts of the country. We would thoroughly recommend it (but we wouldn't want to find we can't get into our favourite sites)!
Paul & Linda Whittle, Hawkhurst, Kent

I'm in my 30s, my parents are off to the event and started caravanning in the late 70s my back garden was the rolling fields and hills of the lakes and dales - I loved it, my son now goes with them an looks forward each trip. Keep it going its great getting away from busy city life annd visiting each weekend in a different location with an everchanging view.
JF, Leeds

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