Anna, Duchess of Bedford
The National Portrait Gallery, London
Royal historians know her as Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria (1837) but tea historians know Anna Maria Stanhope as the "inventor" of the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea.
The story goes that Anna became a bit peckish between the much earlier lunches of those days and the late evening dinners. She is credited with the idea of having tea and a few nice delicate things to eat in her drawing room, thus creating the Afternoon Tea.
No doubt it was she who introduced the idea of Afternoon Tea to the Queen, who set the fashion.
If you join us on the 2010 Tea in London tour, you will visit Woburn Abbey, ancestral home to the Duchess, and partake in their special Anna Duchess of Bedford Afternoon Tea.