Afternoon tea is a true British staple but one member of the royal family has given the usual menu of scones and sandwiches a more contemporary twist. On Sunday, the Duchess of Sussex's make-up artist, Daniel Martin, posted an Instagram photo showing a rare glimpse into the royal's behind-the-scenes life. The photo didn't show the Duchess, but instead depicted plates of avocado toast, chocolate truffles, and a pot of tea. Unsurprisingly, Meghan Markle's afternoon tea choice immediately sparked debate.
According to the Daily Mail, Martin is believed to have been invited to Kensington Palace for "an intimate catch-up" with his friend and client. Martin posted about his lunch date on social media, captioning the photo: "Back to our Tig days... Thank you Meghan for being the consummate hostess this weekend and still being the #avocadotoast whisperer, YUM!" (If you're not clued up on all things Meghan, The Tig was the name of her now defunct lifestyle blog.)
Instagram commenters have not only criticised Martin for posting the photo, but have also hit out at the Duchess for her choice of food. "It is really tacky to post about hanging out with the royals. Granny won't like this," wrote one critic. Another called the avocado toast "bland". Some were a little more positive, with one fan writing: "I love how down to earth she is!"
Even etiquette expert William Hanson called Meghan's meal "a somewhat unusual choice," telling the Daily Mail:
"Smashed avocado on toast is not usually seen on tea menus, in hotels, or private houses. Avocado is usually seen on breakfast or brunch menus; nowadays it is very much a morning food. However, I am a great believer in the 'your house, your rules' school of thought so if HRH The Duchess of Sussex wishes to serve it at her teas then good luck to her."
I have a few questions. One: Who said that Martin and the Duchess weren't having breakfast or brunch? Many of us know that it is definitely possible to eat chocolate truffles before midday. Two: Meghan's tradition-changing ways aren't a secret, but I highly doubt she is trying to force her eating habits onto the Queen. So why is the internet blowing up over a photo of avocado toast and, god forbid, tea without milk?
Three: Where can I buy those truffles? This is the only question I can answer with almost 100 percent certainty. Eagle-eyed fans have determined that the delicious-looking snacks are Fortnum & Mason's Sandringham Coffee Truffles. Hello! reports that you can even buy Meghan's teapot and teacups from Soho Home. The Country House teapot will set you back £25 while a teacup and saucer is priced at £12.
According to Royal Central, afternoon tea has been a bonafide thing in Britain since the reign of Queen Victoria. In fact, the monarch loved a particular cake so much that it was eventually named after her. (That's Victoria Sponge Cake.) The current Queen enjoys afternoon tea every single day, reports the Independent. She has traditional finger sandwiches and scones along with cakes, including honey and cream sponge, ginger, and chocolate biscuit cake. A surprise addition comes in the form of McVitie's rich tea biscuits.
See, even the Queen isn't opposed to change every now and then.