My friend Abi and I were rather confused about Lady Grey. Being enormous fans of Earl Grey, we wondered: was Lady Grey his wife? Did she decide to infuse his bergamot-scented brew with citrus fruits? In an attempt at solving the mystery, we called the Twinings hotline.

Abi spoke to Pete from Twinings and, after a long conversation about the Earl, asked him about Lady Grey. It transpired that Lady Grey was neither wife nor daughter - in actuality, she did not exist! Lady Grey tea, he told us, is simply an Earl Grey with added fruity flavour - a feminised, more ladylike Earl. Abi thanked him and put down the telephone.

After some discussion, we reached the (perhaps rather spurious!) conclusion that Lady Grey is (or was) the Earl in drag. (A feminised Earl!) Perhaps we should have guessed that Lady Grey was not a real person, given that the Twinings packaging features a picture of some fruit, rather than a portrait similar to that found on boxes of Earl Grey.

Although Lady Grey tea is not named after a specific Lady Grey, we do know of other Lady Greys. The most famous of these was Lady Jane Grey, who was Queen of England for nine days before being ousted (and eventually beheaded) by Mary. Whilst visiting Gloucester a few months ago, I stood upon the very spot where, on 10 July 1553, Jane was crowned. In an interesting twist, there is a rather ancient tearoom on the site, named Grey's Coffee House.