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Royal-inspired afternoon tea? Discover Kate Middleton, Duchess Camilla, the Queen & Co's favourite treats

The royals have surprisingly different Afternoon Tea preferences...

royal afternoon tea
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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It's Afternoon Tea week, so who better to take inspiration from than the Queen herself, who is said to enjoy the classic British pastime every single day. Yes, really!

The monarch isn't the only royal to enjoy the afternoon pick-me-up, with the likes of Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and the Duchess of Cornwall all having their own individual preferences. It seems the assumption that the royals sip on Earl Grey and nibble on scones is only partially true!

WATCH: The Queen's favourite foods revealed

From what kind of tea they serve to their favourite cakes and even different sandwich fillings, we've rounded up everything we know about what members of the royal family dine on during cream tea. 

Looking for the best royal-inspired afternoon teas to book for Afternoon Tea week? Scroll on to read about everything from etiquette to royal menu must-haves…

The Queen

The most logical place to start is Her Majesty, who supposedly serves afternoon tea on a daily basis, with her favourite teas including Assam and Earl Grey, royal butler Grant Harrold revealed.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady has previously said that the Queen's favourite finger sandwiches are cucumber, egg and smoked salmon – all with the crusts cut off, of course. 

chocolate cake

The Queen supposedly eats all the leftovers of her chocolate biscuit cake

Not forgetting the sweet treats, the 94-year-old loves ginger cake and chocolate biscuit cake, the latter of which even travels with the Queen. Darren told HELLO!: "The royal chefs send a whole cake up to Her Majesty every day for tea. She will sometimes take a slice and then it is never seen at the royal table again. [The cake is sent to the staff for their afternoon tea.]

"The chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes up to the royal table every day until it has all gone – sometimes this means it following her to Windsor Castle for the weekend," Darren said. 

MORE: The Queen's daily diet: what the monarch eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner

The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of Cambridge also have a soft spot for the decadent recipe – so much so that Prince William requested it at his royal wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011.

Meghan Markle

meghan markle farm

Meghan served homemade banana bread during the royal tour of Australia in 2018

It is not known how often the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dine on afternoon tea, but when they do, they likely opt for a very modern version. Meghan is said to prefer herbal infusions over English breakfast tea; not only did she opt for mint tea instead of coffee during a visit to Birkenhead in January 2019, but also revealed she and British Vogue Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful bonded over a steaming cup in the September 2019 issue.

banana cake

The Duchess' banana bread recipe includes two secret ingredients

The royal couple's food of choice will also likely include Meghan's famous homemade banana bread, which includes chocolate chips and ginger. Back in 2018, the mum-of-one took the cake to a picnic with a farming family in Dubbo, near Sydney, Australia, whilst on royal tour with Prince Harry.

RELATED: The Queen's forgotten dessert only uses 3 ingredients

Benita Woodley, from the Mountain View Farm, told the Daily Mail: "She [the Duchess of Sussex] said if you go to someone's house you always bring something, so she did. She said she was worried about the bananas, that she'd put too many bananas in it. But the Duke said there's never too many bananas."

The Duchess of Cornwall

prince charles camilla wedding

Charles and Camilla served afternoon tea at their wedding

When she's not indulging in the rich chocolate cake loved by the Queen, Duchess Camilla likely enjoys classic British favourites such as smoked salmon, potted shrimp or roast venison sandwiches, all of which were served at her royal wedding to Prince Charles in 2005. The couple also feasted on miniature scones with clotted cream and jam, glazed fudge and strawberry tartlets. 

We like to think Charles and Camilla occasionally swap their scones for Welsh cakes, after the official Clarence House Instagram page recently released a recipe from The Village Bakery in Wrexham. The recipe stated the sweet treats are traditionally served warm with butter or clotted cream and jam. 

camilla charles welsh cakes

The royals tried their hand at flipping Welsh cakes in 2015

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

The late Prince Philip used to enjoy a lengthy summer break at Balmoral Castle with the Queen. One biscuit that was always on the menu during their stay was Scottish shortbread.

MORE: Meghan Markle's favourite tea revealed and where to buy it

During one of his cooking tutorials on YouTube, Darren explained: "I used to make shortbread at least once a week at Balmoral and it was always on the afternoon tea menu."

As well as the three regular ingredients of butter, flour and sugar, he said: "The royal recipe includes cornstarch, too. Cornstarch softens the shortbread – it makes it less glutinous. Instead of snapping, it crumbles and just melts in your mouth." 

Kate Middleton

kate middleton tea

The Duchess likes her tea with a little bit of milk

We already know the Duchess of Cambridge's tea preference is very traditional after a Kilcooley Women's Centre said on Twitter following her visit to the Ark Open Farm: "Just like us little bit of milk.... so down to earth we were enchanted." 

But what would Kate and Prince William choose to eat? All was revealed back in 2019, when the royal couple stopped for a bite to eat at the picturesque Inn on the Lake in Ullswater in the Lake District. A full afternoon tea at the hotel includes freshly prepared finger sandwiches: honey and orange roasted gammon & Hawkshead piccalilli, Appleby Creamery cheddar cheese & sweet pickle, egg & chive mayonnaise, cucumber & crème fraîche with black pepper.

MORE: Time for tea! 11 times the royal family enjoyed a cuppa

It also offers a homemade savoury treat, homemade plain and fruit scone with butter, jam & clotted cream, homemade patisseries, macaroon and traditional mini trifle. If their private afternoon tea menu is half as decadent then they're in for a treat!

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