Her Majesty went shopping on Wednesday (May 22) – well, kind of. The Queen stepped out for an engagement at a Sainsbury’s pop-up store in London for the grocery chain’s 150 th anniversary. The franchise was located near the site of Sainsbury’s very first store on Drury Lane in Covent Garden, and while there, Elizabeth was shown a self-checkout machine.
First, a Sainsbury’s employee demonstrated how to use a scanning app that’s available on mobile phones, according to The Telegraph. “That’s an interesting tool,” she reportedly said.
But then she was shown how shoppers weigh items like produce and swipe the barcodes on their own items.
“You can’t trick it? You can’t cheat then?” she asked, according to the publication.
The manager who showed her the till told her people enjoy scanning their own items. “I’m sure they do,” the Queen replied. “Everybody wants to hurry.”
The monarch was also shown a series of items from Sainsbury’s history, including ration books. The firm was one of the companies that used the books, which stipulated how much each person in the UK could have. Rationing was imposed in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War, and lasted until 1954. Everyone had a ration book – including the Queen – though she said she and her family were fortunate to have their farm at Windsor Castle.
She called bloater paste, made from herring and served on toast in the ‘40s, “ghastly,” according to Express. Similarly, The Telegraph reports the Queen was surprised to hear instant oatmeal is a popular choice among today’s shoppers. “Porridge?” she asked. “Tastes have changed.”
This was the Queen’s third engagement in as many days. On Monday, she helped Duchess Kate unveil her Back to Nature Garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show. The duchess had co-designed the plot with RHS landscape artists, and brought her children and Prince William to see it on Sunday evening.
On Tuesday, Her Majesty hosted the second garden party of the season at Buckingham Palace. Before the event, she gave Kate the Insignia for the title of Dame Grand Cross of the Victorian Order to honour the duchess's service to the Sovereign. At the party, the Queen revealed to a guest that one of her biggest worries when hosting events out of doors is the possibility of rain. Thankfully, it was a gloriously sunny day in London!