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A new cookbook has been released listing the favourite pastries and desserts of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-ever serving monarch. The book, co-written by head chef Mark Flanagan and royal pastry chef Kathryn Cuthbertson, provides an insight into the royal world of entertaining and includes the palace kitchen’s methods for classic favourites such as Victoria sponge, offered in delicate slices to the visitors who attend the Queen’s annual summer gatherings.

Other recipes featured in the cookbook include the clementine macarons and chocolate and almond biscotti, which are served to guests at official functions.

There is also a chapter dedicated to the history of afternoon tea – a concept credited to Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford during the reign of Queen Victoria. In 19th century aristocratic circles, dinner was served relatively late, so afternoon tea was introduced as the most subtle and acceptable way of filling the lengthy gap between a traditionally light lunch and the evening meal.