Q is for Queen

Q is for Queen

I’m joining Alphabe-Thursday ~ this week’s letter assignment is the letter Q.

Charlotte, NC is known as the Queen City; named by Scotch-Irish settlers who came along the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia. The name for this new settlement was Charlotte in honor of the wife of King George III, who was the king of England. In 1768, Charlotte became an incorporated city, in the new county of Mecklenburg, which was also named in honor of Queen Charlotte’s homeland of Germany.

Perhaps one of the most confusing intersections in Charlotte, the Queens Road/Queens Road intersection. (I’ve been a resident 25 years and I still get confused!)

 The history of afternoon tea can be traced to Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, lifelong friend of Queen Victoria~ whom she served as a Lady of the Bedchamber. Finding herself feeling peckish at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, with the prospect of dinner only at 8 o’clock in the evening, she asked for a tray of tea, bread and butter and cakes to be brought to her private chambers. She later extended this habit by inviting friends to join her, and so the tradition of afternoon tea was born.

Queen Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years and 7 months, longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history. I highly recommend watching The Young Victoria, if you haven’t seen it ~ beautiful costumes,  beautiful scenery & beautiful Emily Blunt!

Maintaining a tradition that began in 1860 with Queen Victoria, every year Queen Elizabeth II opens the private gardens at Buckingham Palace to host three afternoon tea parties, each attended by 8,000 guests.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, enter the garden at 4:00 p.m. as one of two bands plays the National Anthem. Taking a different route, each Royal circulates amongst the guests. High ranking, dignitaries, and special guests proceed to the Royal tent to join the Royal Family for afternoon tea. The remaining guests are served tea from a 408-foot long buffet table.  At 6:00 p.m., the Queen and Royal Family depart for the Palace, where once again the National Anthem is played to indicate that the party has ended.

 Queen Elizabeth II, facts here.

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Statistics

(based on attendance of 8000 guests- list courtesy of Buckingham Palace)


  • 20,000 various tea sandwiches

  • 5,000 bridge rolls

  • 9,000 butter drop scones

  • 9,000 fruit tartlets

  • 3,000 butter cake fingers

  • 8,000 slices chocolate/lemon cake

  • 4,500 slices of Dundee cake

  • 4,500 slices of Majorca cake

  • 3,500 slices of chocolate/jam Swiss roll


  • 27,000 cups of Maison Lyons tea*

  • 10,000 glasses of iced coffee

  • 20,000 glasses of fruit squash

*Maison Lyons tea is a special blend produced exclusively by Twinings for the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties. It is a blend of Darjeeling and Assam leaves which gives the unique flavor of peaches or Mussat grapes.


  • 12,000 tea cups and saucers

  • 10,000 teaspoons

  • 10,000 tea plates

  • 6,000 glasses

  • 408 foot buffet table


400 waiting staff and 30 management

The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland

This is my favorite Queen :-)

This tea pot, cream & sugar is Royal Doulton/Royal Albert English Chintz.

See the rest of this tea party in its entirety here.

 Quick & Easy Mini Fruit Tarts

For these mini fruit tarts, I used Dutch Ann Frozen Tart Shells. Bake the shells according to package directions. Allow to cool. For filling, mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese (I used reduced fat) with 1/2 jar of lemon curd and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Chill filling and spoon in baked tart shells. Add a mixture of fresh fruit. Glaze with orange marmalade thinned with water, if desired.

Paula Deen’s Benedictine Sandwiches~ a great little tea sandwich~ recipe here.

And last, but not least, a Queen you may not be familiar with, The Sugar Queen, an edible review here.

 Thanks to all my hostesses to this week’s parties I’m linking to:

 Jenny Matlock’s Aphabe-Thursday for Alphabet Fun

 Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

  Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday~ Stop by & see what’s being served!

  38 comments for “Q is for Queen

  1. Carolyn
    May 12, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t know what is more lovely. The Tarts or the trays they are sitting on.
    Great picture of Queen Charlotte The Carolina Blue sky at its finest. When we first moved to Charlotte. in 1979, I was lost for quite awhile on Queens Road. Just when I thought I was off of it, because I turned, I was still on it. I was going crazy!

  2. May 12, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    There is just so much I loved about this post. Wow, on the Queens Road/intersection it does look like it would be quite confusing. I’ve never heard of that movie The Young Victoria. Looks really good. I went and read your review on the book it looks very interesting. I loved all of this. Great Q words you chose.

  3. JDaniel4's Mom
    May 12, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I love reading most about tea. I didn’t know any of the tea party facts.

  4. May 12, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    This is a super creative and fun post! But, oh my, I think that I like your Royal Doulton better than mine. hm! Lovely!

    Love, Katy Noelle

  5. May 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    you did a super job, so nice to see a huge quelection of your fab pics!

  6. May 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    This tea tablescape does look worthy of a queen! Love all the elements on your table.

  7. May 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    This is a comprehensively, lovely post. I find Queen Victoria and her era fascinating. I have not seen “The Young Victoria” but have watched the miniseries “Victoria and Albert.” Afternoon Tea is a wonderful thing and yours is amazing.

  8. May 12, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    What a beautiful post– and so informative! Those tarts are lovely, and I definitely think I must make them!

  9. May 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Such a wonderful post-history, food, tea, movies and books! The young Victoria is one of my very favourite movies too!

    What a lovely visit I have had today!

    Best wishes,

  10. May 12, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Fruit tarts and cucumber sandwiches??? I’ll be right over!!!

    Love your china and all the neat info you supplied in this post. It’s hard to believe that so many teacups are used at the Buckingham Palace party. This was just a great post, and I loved all the queenly info!

    Happy Tablescape Thursday!


    Sheila :-)

  11. jo
    May 12, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    What a brilliant and beautiful post … i love the tea party … it all looks so yummy and I must watch that movie …

  12. May 12, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Oh my.

    I am bequiled by this entire post. The china, the tarts, the facts, the statistics, the photos. Your post has both quality and quantity and I am truly amazed by everything you shared.


    I know that’s not a Q word.



    Thank you for enriching our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday’s Letter “Q” with this wonderful post!


  13. May 12, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    What a wonderful post. I love the history. I cannot imagine the engineering to pull off that tea party. Your photos are absolutely amazing. The fruit is leaping off the tarts toward the camera. Thank you for sharing your tea party with me!

  14. May 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Wow! What fun! I am sorry I haven’t seen the letter challenge sooner! Great post. The tarts look luscious!

  15. May 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Bravo! You always inspire me with your creative posts. And the tarts are incredible! Did you make those? I’d be delighted to share tea with you any afternoon. Beautiful! ~ Sarah
    PS. I want to read that book. It’s on my list.

  16. May 13, 2010 at 12:44 am

    My post this week is about the Queen too. How I wish I was invited to a garden party with the Queen! And I LOVED seeing “Young Victoria”!!

  17. May 13, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Oh my gosh the other day i was thinking about having a tea party , to say thank you to all my wonderful friends who have supported me since my husband left. Wont be quite 8000 but will be using some of your ideas thank you

  18. May 13, 2010 at 5:23 am

    A simply beautiful , well-researched and exquisitely executed post for Q. Queen is a very important Q-word.
    Best wishes,

  19. PJ
    May 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Holy Cow! You did an outstanding job!! Something for the brain; something for the eye; something for the tummy!

  20. May 13, 2010 at 9:30 am

    WOW…I am totally IMPRESSED…

    Mine is here
    Happy Sensational Thursday!

  21. May 13, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Oh how I hate the intersection of the 2 Queens Roads in Charlotte. The rest was eye-candy. The list of food for afternoon tea has my hungry too. Great Q post.

  22. May 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    OMG! Your Q post is AMAZING! Ok…FIrst of all I am working on series of Wonderland Dolls and your pcitures have totally inspired me to get back to work. These lovely details of the queen pictures are so great and I love your videos as well! The table scape and tea party foods are making me SO HUNGRY! I think I may have to follow in Duchess Anna’s tea time tradition this afternoon I am feeling a lil famished as well…oh what a smart lady she was! I absolutely LOVE your post and totally want to come over to enjoy your fruit tarts and tea while sitting at your lovely table:) Fabulous Q post you are QUITE a lady!

  23. May 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    great pics of all those queens :D

  24. May 13, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Lovely post! Great eye candy!

  25. May 13, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Loved this post! very nice job putting all that info in there. Loved the video. I will bookmark , so I can make these tarts!!

  26. May 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I am so lost… not coz I don’t like your collections. I LOVE and drools of everything serves. So fabulous. I can’t imagine having and owning those gorgeous treasures.

    Happy TT Day.

  27. May 13, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    I love your tea set, how gorgeous! I love the history of afternoon tea. I have never seen the Queen Victoria movie – I am going to rent is soon! Great post.

  28. May 13, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    so much to absorb here…all of it fascinating and some of it hunger inducing! i hand’t heard of the sugar queen…i have been sometimes called the same thing..but probably not for the same reason(s). Can you just imagine holding a party for 8000 people? i think that must be more people than i have ever known!

  29. May 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    my mom got to go to the queens tea once. It was her first trip to Europe. what a treat!

  30. May 13, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    What a pretty post. I really enjoyed it.

  31. May 13, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Everything is so lovely, but that chintz is stunning!!


  32. May 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Truly fit for a queen! Tarts and tea-sandwiches, petite little treats. I lived in Queens for 18 months! Do I qualify to be a guest at your party? I sure hope so!

  33. May 14, 2010 at 1:41 am

    fruit tarts and the queen of hearts…..great q post!

  34. PJ
    May 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Beautiful, informative post!

  35. May 14, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Your tarts are so tasty looking and that chintz! It is one of my favorite patterns. Lovely post!!

  36. May 14, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Oh my, what is there not to love about this post! Fabulous, I relished every word and every picture. The tart recipe has already found it’s way to my recipe file – cream cheese and lemon curd sounds delicious together.

    I read today’s post first, so sorry to hear about your finger and that gorgeous dish, I paused. My heart skips a beat when I break a favorite dish, so I know how you must have felt. Heal quickly!

  37. May 14, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Lovely tea you serve thanks for the invite. I enjoyed the videos also. I am going back to look again.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  38. May 16, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Please see my blog for a mention and a link xx Gypsy Purple

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