Platinum Jubilee Tea Party
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This summer I hosted a themed Platinum Jubilee Tea Party to honor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year reign. It seemed all of England was celebrating this event, so I figured I might as well hop on the bandwagon and plan something special. See below the many aspects of this themed tea party and steps for you to plan your own special day.
Nearly every little girl dreams of being a princess, and I was no different. I grew up and am still infatuated with stories about princesses and women who became queens. Consider my favorite such movies: Cinderella. Princess Diaries. Ella Enchanted. Or how about Elizabeth-The Golden Age, The Young Victoria, and Mary Queen of Scots. My most recent television binge happened this past spring when I watched again all four seasons of The Crown. (For those interested, the fifth season is set to come out in November 2022.)
Which leads us to another reason I was inspired to host a Platinum Jubilee Tea Party. Have you ever noticed how often they drink tea in these shows? It’s quite often. And it makes me want to get out my finest tea set and join them! Plus, the Queen enjoys afternoon tea as much as I do. Watch this adorable video of her having tea with Paddington Bear, which was released as part of her Jubilee Celebration.
Researching a Themed Tea Party
When planning a themed tea party, you’ll want to do as much research on the subject as possible. For instance, if you’re hosting a Downton Abbey tea or perhaps a Jane Austen party, you’ll want to research the time period, what styles, music, and foods were enjoyed, and then plan your party accordingly. Perhaps you’ll encourage guests to wear clothing or accessories from that era, or you’ll play music or have decorations that build on your theme.
For my party, having watched four seasons of The Crown, I had a pretty good idea of Her Majesty’s life and royal history. But just in case I missed something, I purchased this book about her life, The Queen: A Life in Pictures, by Town and Country. This is such a well written book with wonderful pictures of Queen Elizabeth and her family.
There are many more books about her life that have been published this spring that are more current, so if you’re into such reading, be sure to browse what is available.
I used this book, along with a great deal of online searching, to learn as much about HRM (Her Royal Majesty) as possible. After all, if I was going to host a tea party in her honor, I intended to be knowledgeable. The Royal Website has lots of information about the Platinum Jubilee.
This research served us multiple times, as our youngest daughter, Abbey, used a lot of the information to make a party game of Royal Facts about the Queen.
Every attendee was given a castle that had six doors and behind each door was a fact about Queen Elizabeth II. We used this game as fun interaction between food courses, which also served as a history lesson for all of us. When we walked away from the party, we had heard a minimum of 30 interesting facts about the Queen.
While online I also purchased a few items to serve as decorations and party favors for my guests. Plus I found this delightful bobble head of the Queen in a pretty blue coat with a favorite Corgi. Now it was official. The Queen would join us for tea!
Queen Elizabeth loves Corgi dogs and has owned one since she was a young girl. Did you know that a children’s movie was made called The Queen’s Corgis. I have not watched it yet, but it is currently streaming on Prime or you may Purchase the DVD Here.
Abbey also made tea menus for the party. I thought they turned out quite lovely. You may view more of her Tea Party Items at her Etsy store, Heritage Hollow Designs.
Tea Party Favors
Along with the menu silhouette and castle game, tea party attendees received a gold crown (with chocolate truffle), and a gold drawstring favor bag that held honey sticks and individual tea packets from Fortnum and Mason.
Party favors are not necessary when hosting a tea, but they are always appreciated. Something as simple as a piece of chocolate, a paper napkin formed into a rose, or even a menu card will make your guests smile. (See how to make a napkin rose HERE.) Give your friends something to take home as a remembrance of their afternoon tea with you.
Royal Crafts for the Children
Since there would be children attending the tea party, I wanted to plan something special for them. In fact, my grandchildren were excellent helpers for this when researching the Platinum Jubilee. There is much to find online for children’s crafts and ways to involve them for this special British celebration.
For our tea party, we chose a handful of coloring pages that featured the Queen. We also printed off a coloring craft to make a Royal Bunting, which we draped from the ceiling for our party. This bunting actually hung in our kitchen for over a month, and I failed to capture a single picture of it!
However, I did get photos of the Royal Crowns, which the children made and decorated, then proceeded to wear during the party.
If you are hosting a tea party where children will be in attendance, be sure to keep them in mind when planning your activities, decorations, and food. Always prepare at least one food that the children will enjoy eating. See this Back to School Tea Party for menu ideas perfect for kids.
Planning the Table Setting and Decorations
Once I had sufficient knowledge about my themed tea party, I began planning the table setting and decorations. Queen Elizabeth’s favorite flower is Lily of the Valley, which was in her coronation bouquet, so I made sure to incorporate this flower into the decorations, along with a lovely vase with white and blue flowers.
After browsing my various dishes, I decided on my grandmother’s blue china (Elegant Lady, by the International Silver Company) and paired it with cobalt blue dishes. I especially liked that these dishes were lined in silver, which went with my Platinum theme.
The Tea Menu
Because I wanted to honor HM, I decided to plan my tea menu around foods that she enjoys. Fortunately, because there was so much attention on her 70th Jubilee, the information was easy to find.
Queen Elizabeth takes afternoon tea every day, alternating a plain scone one day with a sweet scone (golden raisin) the next. She also has favorite sandwiches and desserts that she enjoys. One dessert is a Chocolate Biscuit Cake, which she has been known to request no matter which castle home she is staying at.
With all of this information at my fingertips, I planned the following tea menu, with all of the teas purchased from Fortnum and Mason,
Fortnum and Mason holds a royal appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, which simply means they are holders of a Royal Warrant and indicates that the Royal Household uses their products. It is the greatest honor a UK business can be given.
SAVORY COURSE: Jubilee Egg Salad and Watercress Sandwiches, Coronation Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Smoked Salmon Mousse Cucumber Canapes, and Ham and Dijon Tea Sandwiches. Served with Platinum Jubilee Blend, from Fortnum and Mason.
SCONE COURSE: Buckingham Palace Royal English Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Jam, Everything Bagel Scones with Honey Butter and Fig Preserves. Served with Victoria Grey, from Fortnum and Mason.
For a refreshing drink between courses, I served Mint Lemonade, and we ended the tea party with a Sparkling Prosecco for a toast to the Queen. Long Live the Queen – God Save the Queen!
I hope you have enjoyed this post about our Platinum Jubilee Tea Party. Maybe it will stir ideas for a themed party in your future. I always say that a good percentage of the fun had in afternoon tea is in the planning!
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” ~ Henry James