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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 25 ~ Happy Birthday, Catharine of Braganza!

Catharine of Braganza is credited
with introducing tea drinking to England.
"It is said that when the Portuguese princess, Catharine of Braganza, arrived in England to marry Charles II, she brought with her a casket of tea. Since the Portuguese had been importing tea to Europe from the beginning of the seventeenth century, Catharine had grown up drinking tea as the preferred everyday beverage. Her fondness quickly made it fashionable in England, and first the ladies of the court and gradually those further removed from royal life developed a liking for the elegant drink." (From A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew.)

Did you know...

Although some have claimed that Queens in New York City was named after Catharine of Braganza, her name is not mentioned in the first 200 years of historical documents that have been preserved in the county archives. Because it was alleged that the Queen and her family had profited from the slave trade a recent effort to build a 33-foot tall statue in her honor in Queens was defeated by local African American,Irish-American, and community groups. A quarter-scale model (below) survives at the site of Expo '98 in Lisbon, Portugal, facing Queens, New York across the Atlantic.

(For the entire story, click here.)

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