Tea was first served in the royal palaces of both Scotland and England by queens who grew up on The Continent where tea was already a fashionable beverage.
The Duchess of York, Italian born Mary of Modena, picked up her tea habit while living in the Netherlands. She poured the first tea in Scotland in 1680 when it was served at Holyrood Palace at Edinburgh. Her husband would become James II of England.
Catherine of Braganza, England’s first tea-drinking queen, had been drinking tea at Hampton Court since 1662 following her arrival from Portugal to marry Charles II.
Both imported queens were instrumental in sharing their tea ritual with nobility and the exotic – yet expensive – Chinese beverage was quickly infused into the wealthiest households. Everyone wanted to imitate the lifestyle of the royal family!