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King Charles' former butler spills the tea on Queen's garden party secret

In light of National Tea Day, HELLO! looks back on the Queen's famous garden parties

the queen tea
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
21 April 2023
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Friday 21 April marks National Tea Day, an occasion dedicated entirely to celebrating the UK's most beloved brew. 

In light of the nation's everlasting love affair with a good cuppa (which is undoubtedly best served alongside cakes and scones), we take a look at how the royal family enjoy their tea - and some of the revelations may surprise you. 

Queen Elizabeth II drinks tea© Getty
Queen Elizabeth II was said to enjoy afternoon tea daily

The late Queen Elizabeth II famously enjoyed a cuppa every day, and was said to be a fan of Assam and Earl Grey. Reportedly, the monarch always poured the tea first, if she was taking milk. 

Not so fond of a traditional English brew, the Duchess of Sussex is said to prefer herbal infusions over breakfast tea. 

meghan markle tea cup
The Duchess of Sussex prefers herbal tea

In a piece for the September 2019 issue of British Vogue, Prince Harry's wife revealed how she and Editor-in-chief Edward Enninful bonded over a steaming cup of mint tea. 

The Princess of Wales has also been known to enjoy a cup of tea, and even sipped away on one during an engagement in Northern Ireland in 2018. Following her visit to Kilcooley Women's Centre, one Twitter user @LadyParky79 asked the charity how the royal took her tea. 

The charity responded with: "Just like us, little bit of milk.... so down to earth we were enchanted." Who knew the Princess was partial to a builder's brew?

kate middleton drinks tea
The Princess of Wales likes her tea with a "dash of milk"

Whilst enjoying a quintessentially British afternoon tea, HELLO! joined King Charles' former royal butler Grant Harrold, who spilled the tea on how Queen Elizabeth II avoided conflict at her famous Buckingham Palace garden tea parties. 

At a typical royal garden party, around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake are consumed. 

WATCH: Look back on Queen Elizabeth II's garden party at Buckingham Palace

Speaking on behalf of Slingo, Grant divulged that the royals always tried to be as diplomatic as possible when welcoming guests, which meant catering to both sides of the age-old debate of which topping goes first on a scone - jam or cream? 

"Palace chefs would typically prepare both, with hundreds of scones catering to both the Cornish and Devonian methods," explained Grant, adding that it's always in the royals' interest to please every guest. 

SEE: 22 of the best afternoon tea venues in London you need to book now

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