Maria serves tea for two royal visitors

A cafe owner found herself serving two unusual guests by royal appointment yesterday after they dropped in for a cup of tea.

Maria Moruzzi poured a cuppa for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall when they visited London’s well-known Borough Market to officially reopen the centre after a redevelopment project.

The Prince normally has his tea without milk and with a spoonful of honey but was happy to have a builder’s brew. Charles wanted a cuppa with two sugars and as strong as you can make it, while Camilla just wanted one sugar and some milk.

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The royals peered over Maria’s metal topped counter waiting for their order and when the heir to the throne asked for a spoon to stir his tea, Maria made him laugh by saying: “That’s what I like to see, someone doing a bit of work”, and he replied: “You’d be surprised.”

Ms Moruzzi, from Borough in south London, worked in her parents’ cafe in the 1960s as a child before opening her own business which is famed for its bubble and squeak.

She said: “I’m honoured, this is nice, it’s something for the memories. Maria’s Market Cafe by Royal Appointment, how about that?”

With the royal visit falling on Valentine’s Day the Duchess found herself receiving armfuls of romantic gifts from traders.

Florist Sharon Crane, 45, from Maidstone, Kent whose business opened yesterday gave away her first flowers for free to the Duchess. Ms Crane said after the presentation of roses: “I told her ‘I’m giving you a bouquet of flowers in case your husband forgets’ and she said she was hoping to get some.”

A few minutes later chocolatier Hayleigh Bazelya gave the Duchess a large chocolate heart decorated with the words “love from Borough Market”.

The royal couple last visited Borough Market in 2005 before a major three-year development project began that saw traders temporarily relocated when a new railway viaduct for nearby London Bridge station was built.