Camilla Parker Bowles’s son Tom reveals exactly how the Queen takes her tea

Camilla Parker Bowles's son Tom has shared the secret to making the Queen a perfect cup of tea

Camilla Parker Bowles's son Tom has shared the secret to making the Queen a perfect cup of tea. NORTHERN IRELAND - 1977: Queen Elizabeth ll has a cup of tea while in Northern Ireland on a royal visit in 1977.(Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

If you've ever fantasized about having the Queen to tea, listen up—a Buckingham Palace insider has finally revealed the secret to making the perfect royal brew. 

Camilla Parker-Bowles's son Tom may not be a bonafide member of the Royal Family, but that doesn't mean he can't tell you a thing or two about their favorite way to have a cuppa.  

The award-winning food writer has spent the last year investigating Britain's favorite beverage for his new book, Time for Tea, and it looks like he's finally ready to impart some wisdom on nailing the caffeinated drink. 

The first step, controversially, is to ditch the teabags. The Royal Family favors tea in its raw form—or without packaging. Tea leaves are bigger when they are loose and thereby create a deeper, more complex flavor than when they're confined to a bag. 

"Just like wine, tea has a terroir to it, and that is better expressed with the larger leaves," Tom explains. The health benefits of tea are also often stronger when its leaves are loose, as the leaves are usually higher quality and therefore contain more bioactive components like antioxidants and amino acids like L-theanine

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 18: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and son Tom Parker Bowles attend the launch of "Fortnum & Mason: The Cook Book" by Tom Parker Bowles at Fortnum & Mason on October 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Fortnum and Mason)

Camilla Parker-Bowles with her son, Tom in 2016 

(Image credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Fortnum and Mason)

It's also important to heat your water in a specific way. While we all love our microwaves, they're best avoided when it comes to preparing black tea. 

Tom advises using a kettle instead to ensure you achieve boiling temperature. Ideally, your water should also be filtered, as the taste of fluoride can alter the tea's natural flavor. 

And when it comes to your afternoon tea with the Queen, it's best to make sure you have some fresh milk on hand. Her Majesty takes her brew with just a splash of the white liquid, adding it into the cup after the tea has finished brewing. Prince Charles also takes milk with his tea, but unlike his mother, he likes to sweeten it up with a spoonful of honey. 

For the Royal Family, this ancient drink is far more than a tasty refreshment. Afternoon Tea at Sandringham Estate or Buckingham Palace is observed by the Queen as a daily ritual, providing a much-needed respite from her busy schedule. The special meal, complete with homemade scones and hand-cut sandwiches, is also regularly served at family gatherings, public engagements, and political meetings. 


Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.