Tearoom tantrums as women are thrown out in national anthem snub

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The Independent Online

When you sit down to dine at at tearoom containing items from one of the largest collections of Royal memorabilia in the world, you probably shouldn't be surprised to be asked to stand for the national anthem. However three disgruntled customers did just that and fell foul of the proprietor.

Fervent monarchist Anita Atkinson, 55, opened the Royalty Teas shop in rural Stanhope, County Durham, with her friend Christine Dodd to mark the jubilee celebrations. She explained yesterday why she threw out three middle-aged customers who refused to stand when she played the national anthem.

The tearoom features masks, books, cut-outs of royalty and even thrones in the toilets. And every day at 3pm, Mrs Atkinson asks customers to stand for the the national anthem. But on Saturday events turned sour when everyone stood "apart from three ladies who were looking a bit miserable.

"They were vociferous in their refusal to stand up. One said 'I'm not standing' so I said 'will you just please leave then'. I was nice about it."

"One of them told me the coffee was rubbish and they talked deliberately through the national anthem. They were grumbling all the way out."