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Ever wonder how the British, who love their tea time, began that tradition? It was given to them by their Portuguese queen, Catherine of Braganza, who as a young bride to Charles II introduced the custom, already very popular among the Portuguese nobility at the time.

Catherine also introduced the fork to the dining tables of England and her large dowry included the port city of Bombay, now Mumbai, bringing India under to British control. The British went on to develop Bombay into a major center of commerce.

She had an influence on this side of the pond, as well. The County of Queens, New York, was named for Catherine when it was created in 1683 (Kings County was named after her husband, Charles). Queens County is in the western part of Long Island and includes a few smaller islands, most of which are in Jamaica Bay and form part of Gateway National Recreation Area.

One of 12 original counties created in the New York colony, Queens County is comprised of 178.3 square miles of land area. Its county seat is New York City. As of the 2010 census, the population of Queens County is 2,230,722.

“The Queens Giant,” the tallest tree in the New York metropolitan area, is located in northeastern Queens. The tree is 450 years old and 132 feet tall.


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