July 3, 2022

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how does the queen like her afternoon tea

4 min read

queen drinking tea

Tea fit for a queen (Picture: Credits Getty/REX/Metro.co.uk)

A former Royal Chef has revealed how the Queen loves her afternoon tea and scones.

There was strict protocol for staff when they worked there, and the Queen reportedly had ‘frugal’ tastes.

Darren McGrady spoke exclusively to Coffee Friend, a coffee machine retailer, sharing that Her Majesty used to enjoy afternoon tea every day while working for the family.

She said: ‘Wherever the Queen was in the world, she drank afternoon tea every day. if we were on Buckingham Palace and she was alone for tea, or whether it was Prince William to come and join him, or whether she had a garden party for 6000 people, or even if she was at the Royal Britannia in Australia.

‘The Queen loved afternoon tea, I would say it’s probably one of her favorite meals. Surely when I was there, she would sit down for tea religiously.

The menu included two types of sandwiches with scones – one day it would be plain, the next day it would have raisins.

Darren shared that bstaff would always call and double-check what flavor scones were the day before, just so they wouldn’t serve the same two days in a row.

This will be followed by a smaller cake, such as a mini chocolate eclair, a queen cake, honey and cream sponge, a fruit cake, gingerbread, banana bread, chocolate biscuit cake, or a chocolate ganache cake (her favorite).

Along with that, she’ll have Earl Gray tea – which must be hot.

How to make Darren McGrady’s Royal Tea Scones

material: (makes about 12)

  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour (450 grams)
    1 stick soft butter (113 g)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 – 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins (making fruit scones)
  • 1 egg yolk for glazing
  • 1 jar strawberry jam
  • 1 jar clotted cream (or sweetened whipped cream)


Cream or Jam First? (Photo: Getty Images/IEEM)


  1. Set the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl. Pour in the butter and rub until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the middle and add the beaten egg and about 3/4 cup milk. Bring the mixture together with a metal spoon to be sure you don’t overmix it or you will tighten the dough. If the mixture is a bit dry, gradually add more milk.
  4. Sprinkle flour lightly on the table and roll out the dough to about 1″ thick. Then cut into 2″ round cookie cutters. Place about 1″ apart on a baking sheet and brush the top with the beaten egg yolk.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes. When cooked, take it out on a wire rack to cool.
  6. Serve scones with jam and cream.

Darren said: ‘The only thing you can say about the Queen is that she is very frugal.

‘It was one of the things that really surprised me, when I moved from The Savoy to Buckingham Palace. I thought that salmon, foie gras, caviar would be smoked every day, but no.

‘The queen is very, very frugal and it is simple and simple food. It comes from the early years of his growing up during the war.’

As for Prince William and Harry, they would have loved a chocolate biscuit cake as children and would occasionally join the Queen for tea.

But their ultimate favorite was a caramel banana cake, which would be requested when they were dining out.

How to Make William and Harry’s Childhood Favorite: Caramel Banana Cake

Ingredients: (Makes 24 good sized teacakes)

For Cake:

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (about 5 medium)
  • 3 cups self rising flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste

For Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla paste

Banana Caramel Cake

Delicious (Picture: Getty Images / iStockphoto)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1/2 sheet pan tray (12 x 18 x 1)
  2. Using an electric mixer, prepare a sponge by whipping butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and banana and whisk together. Mix the flour, soda, sour cream, milk and vanilla paste until no lumps remain and the batter is smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared tray, grease, and bake in middle of oven for about 40 minutes or until sponge comes back to touch and is golden brown.
  5. Allow the sponge to cool completely before frosting.
  6. Prepare frosting by melting butter and sugar in a pan. Stir without boiling for about 2 minutes. Add sour cream, bring to a boil.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in powdered sugar and vanilla paste. Allow the frosting to cool slightly and carefully thicken the sponge before frosting.
  8. Cut the cake into fingers and serve.

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee 2022

Dust off your Union Jack bunting, Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee is well and truly upon us.

The ceremony, which takes place from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5, marks Her Majesty’s record-breaking 70th year on the throne.

Across the UK, there will be street parties, concerts and other special events involving the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family.

For all the latest updates visit Metro.co.uk’s Platinum Jubilee page.

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