Anita Atkinson opened Royal Teas in Stanhope earlier this year on April 21, the Queen’s birthday – in time for the Diamond Jubilee.

Atkinson once won a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest collection of Royal Memorabilia, some of which is on display in the tearoom.

She plays the national anthem there at 3pm every day and said she expects her customers to stand.

Atkinson said: “It’s meant to be funny and it’s a little quirky part of the tearoom that we have got.

“At 3 o’clock every day we play the national anthem and we expect people to stand.

“It tells you that in the legend on the menu. The whole thing is just a bit of British eccentricity.

“But these three ladies vociferously refused to stand and made it known that they were anti-monarchist, so God only knows why they came into the tearoom in the first place. So I threw them out.”

The incident happened as two couples and a group of young people were enjoying the tearoom.

Atkinson added: “It’s been causing a bit of a debate – my husband says the customer is always right, but those ladies were rude and aggressive to me.

“I heard the women saying: ‘I’m not standing up for her,’ when the National Anthem came on.

“I’ve heard that they were in the Dales Centre too in Stanhope, complaining that their toast wasn’t made fast enough. It sounds like they’ve been on a roll.”

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