How Queen Elizabeth And President Eisenhower Bonded Over Scones

Over the period of her historic 70-year reign, Queen Elizabeth II developed many preferences when it came to food. Former royal chef Darren McGrady revealed to RecipesPlus that she only ate starchy foods at state dinners, didn't like anything with garlic or onions, preferred her meat well done, and ate bananas with knife and fork. The only thing she ever ate with her hands, according to Express, was the food served at afternoon tea.

For the Queen, teatime food often included scones, and whenever she was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, she would enjoy those scones with jam made with strawberries picked (sometimes by the Queen herself!) from the garden, the New York Post shares. Chef McGrady revealed to the news outlet that Queen Elizabeth would always prepare her scones in the same order, first by topping them with strawberry jam, then with clotted cream. When President Dwight Eisenhower visited the Queen at Balmoral Castle back in the summer of 1959, it was those very scones that they bonded over, a written letter from January 1960 reveals (via National Archives).

Queen Elizabeth gave her scone recipe to President Eisenhower

According to the letter Queen Elizabeth II wrote to President Eisenhower, she had forgotten to share the recipe for her scones that he had requested during their meeting at Balmoral (via National Archives). "Seeing a picture of you in today's newspaper standing in front of a barbecue grilling quail, reminded me that I had never sent you the recipe of the drop scones which I promised you at Balmoral," she began the letter. "I now hasten to do so, and I do hope you will find them successful."

Queen Elizabeth then went on to give a breakdown of the ingredients and preparation for the beloved scones, explaining how she would sometimes substitute golden syrup or treacle for sugar, and that she beats the batter vigorously. She then expressed her admiration for Eisenhower and his wife, and signed off the letter simply Elizabeth R. The letter now sits in the National Archives and the recipe she attached is saved in the Eisenhower Library, according to Pieces of History. If you should choose to recreate the scone recipe (which we have helpfully recreated for you here) that united these two world leaders, know that it creates enough to feed 16, so you should feel free to invite a friend or two — or perhaps even a potential ally you'd like to win over — to tea.