Queen Victoria and the Invention of Afternoon Tea

Queen Victoria and the Invention of Afternoon Tea

Queen Victoria

For my Canadian besteas, it’s Victoria Day! Many people think that Queen Victoria invented the elegant English custom of afternoon tea. But it was actually introduced in England by Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford, in 1840.

In the 1800s, it was normal for aristocratic families to eat two main meals a day: breakfast and a late dinner (with maybe

a light lunch in between). With the invention of kerosene lamps, dinner was eaten even later around 8 p.m. The Duchess of Bedford did not like the new mealtime schedule. She would complain about getting hungry around 4 p.m. and would order tea, cakes, bread, butter, and jam. Eventually, she’d invite her friends to join her for afternoon teatime.

The duchess was good friends with Queen Victoria and introduced her to the concept of afternoon tea. Queen Victoria gave her royal stamp of approval and adopted this new ritual. To this day, Queen Elizabeth and many other royals enjoy having afternoon tea almost every day.

Your bestea, 

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