Although I'm partial to Barry's Irish Tea myself, Earl Grey remains a classic. If you buy it from Tesco it even has Charles, 2nd Earl Grey's face on it. How he got a tea named after him is shadowed in legend but what remains a fact is he was the love of Georgiana's life.
I wanted to discuss Grey now because judging from The Duchess trailer, he seems to be taking up a lot of screen time (grumble...) and appearing in places he shouldn't be. He was eldest surviving son of the first Earl Grey and educated at the best of schools, Eton, Trinity, etc. At the tender age of 22 he was elected to parliament. This was in 1786, two years after Georgiana had canvassed for Charles Fox and subsequently "retired" from politics. The young Grey was actually, well, emo. He was a dark and brooding Pisces, whose raincloud only disappeared when got his way. Upon being welcomed into the Whigs and of course the Devonshire House circle, he immediately latched on to Georgiana, 7 years his senior. She was flirtatious and welcoming with everybody, but he took her actions too seriously and became her shadow. This made Georgiana both nervous and enticed. Eventually Grey's violent declarations of love worked, and Georgiana began an affair.
Love grew stronger and friends' well-meant advice was falling on deaf ears more and more frequently. Like a high school romance, he would argue with her if he felt she was paying more attention to other members of the circle. The lovebirds let their affair get out of hand when, Georgiana was staying in Bath by herself and Grey would be seen going in and out of her house with no discrepancy. When her mother, Lady Spencer heard this she furiously wrote and put a stop to their brashness. But it was too late, the damage was done. Georgiana was pregnant.
Now her Grace had to admit many awful things to her husband before. This usually involved her massive gambling debts. But this one was big. Someone tipped the Duke of Devonshire off and he arrived unexpected to his 6-month pregnant wife in Bath. Screaming, crying commenced, followed by Bess being called into the room, and then scolding, and more screaming and crying. Harriet, Georgiana's sister sat outside hearing everything and recorded that she had never been so frightened. Georgiana was forced to leave the country. The Duke was humiliated and he gave her a choice: give the child up for adoption and never see Grey again or be divorced and never see her 3 children again. It wasn't much of a choice, but Grey still resented her for not choosing a fallen life with him. The relationship disintegrated after that. "I have in leaving him for ever, left my heart and soul; but it is over now...he has one consolation that I have given him up to my children only." Georgiana wrote in her grief. On February 20, 1791 Eliza Courtney was born and immediately taken from her mother's arms. But Eliza's story is for another time.
Three years later Grey was engaged to Mary Ponsonby. The coward couldn't even bring himself to tell Georgiana himself, he waited until she read it in the papers. She was stricken speechless with grief. The married couple had 15 children in total but that didn't stop Grey from having an affair with Richard Sheridan's second wife Hecca. He went on to outlive Georgiana by many years and become Prime Minister under William IV. However he may want to be known, for his political or sexual conquerings; he will always be the tea guy.