Queen sent billy tea with drought message by Binalong resident

Everyone knows the Queen loves tea, but has she ever tried Australia's iconic billy tea?

DEAR MAJESTY: Binalong resident Cathy Kerslake sends her handmade billy tea to the Queen. Photo: supplied

DEAR MAJESTY: Binalong resident Cathy Kerslake sends her handmade billy tea to the Queen. Photo: supplied

To find out, Binalong resident Cathy Kerslake sent a tin of her handmade billy tea to Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace.

"I reckon she is the expert on teas!" Binalong Bushranger Blend Tea producer Ms Kerslake said.

The most enduring element of Binalong is its people.

Ms Kerslake is eager to see what Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II thinks of the brew made from Australian tea and gum leaves.

She also wonders whether a cuppa would remind the Queen of previous royal visits to Australia.

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Nicole Hill takes the parcel addressed to Buckingham Palace to the post office. Photo: supplied

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Nicole Hill takes the parcel addressed to Buckingham Palace to the post office. Photo: supplied

The Queen's father, King George VI, reportedly drank billy tea during a visit to Australia in 1901.

He was shown how to boil the water in a billycan over a campfire, adding the tea, then sugar and stirring with a stick, newspapers reported at the time.

To me you would be the greatest expert on a good blend.

Ms Kerslake also had an important message for the Queen about the village in regional New South Wales where she makes the tea and where farmers are facing drought.

"The most enduring element of Binalong is its people," Ms Kerslake wrote in a 300-word letter with the tea.

"Strong Australian heritage, generations of wool farmers and an extremely generous community (under 500 population), which secretly donates many hundreds of thousands per year to charities."

FORTUNE: Binalong Bushranger Blend Tea producer Cathy Kerslake wonders if the billy tea leaves can tell if the Queen will respond. Photo: supplied

FORTUNE: Binalong Bushranger Blend Tea producer Cathy Kerslake wonders if the billy tea leaves can tell if the Queen will respond. Photo: supplied

Ms Kerslake also told the Queen about Binalong's famous wool, its brave men who joined the WWI Kangaroo March, bushranger history, bush poet Banjo Paterson, and her shop, The Old Produce Store, which opened in July 2019.

"I created the store to support Australian regional producers and creators," she said in the letter.

We all have to muck in together to get through these extremely difficult times.


"To give hope to those in nearby drought-affected areas and to promote small regional villages in country NSW, so they do not turn into ghost towns and fade away as many, many have.

"Collaboration is the key and our mantra as such is also required throughout the state and country due to horrific recent and long-standing devastation.

"We all have to muck in together to get through these extremely difficult times. A glimmer of initiatives gives hope!"

In closing, she said, "To me, you would be the greatest expert on a good blend and therefore I hope you enjoy this blend and may it provide you with wonderful memories of Australia.

"I have the honour to be, madam, Your Majesty's humble and obedient servant."

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