Six Live Chickens

Six Chickens2

Andorra has been a Co-Principality since 1278. It was created in a treaty between the Bishop of Urgell and the French Count of Foix. Its current Co-Princes are the Bishop of Urgell (in Catalonia) and the President of France. This makes the French President the only popularly elected monarch by citizens of another country.

As regents they were owed a tribute called the “Questia”. In odd-numbered years, Andorra paid about 400€ to the President of France and in even-numbered years it paid the Bishop of Urgell  900 Pesetas (roughly 7€), six hams, six cheeses and six live chickens. The quantities sometimes vary – apparently even hams and chickens suffer from inflation.

In 1993, Andorra signed a new constitution and abandoned the medieval custom, to the dismay of French Presidents and Catalonian ham lovers.

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Tea Time

Void1.pngSeen as a quintessentially British habit, drinking tea only took off in England after Queen Consort Catherine de Braganza introduced it to the royal court.  Portuguese nobility were already avid tea drinkers, so when Infanta (Princess) Catherine moved to England to marry Charles II in 1662. While there are records of tea drinking before her arrival, tea had been mostly introduced through male-frequented coffee houses. Tea being the queen consort’s favorite beverage made it fashionable among the aristocracy.
Tea in the 17th century was an expensive import from the “East Indies” (any land west of Africa, really), though it mainly came from China.
Catherine de Braganza’s other most notable legacy is the Queens borough in New York, said to be named after her, although it’s likely that she wasn’t even aware it existed.