Before she left, she met a small selection of around 30 of Sainsbury’s 180,000 employees, including some of the 35,000 staff volunteering in their communities to celebrate the 150th anniversary, before unveiling a plaque and cutting a cake to mark the occasion. Lord Sainsbury, life president and former chief executive of the company, greeted the Queen and called her visit “very flattering”.He said: “I’m proud to say that what the company has contributed over the years has made it worthy of it.”Of course, it’s a great compliment.” Mr Corcoran, a former Captain in the Royal Signals, said that in his work for Sainsbury’s he generally found there were two types of customers: those who embraced new technology quickly and were keen to use it, and others who needed a bit more help from staff. The Queen examines a ration bookCredit:Reuters The Queen is shown a typical 2019 shopping basketCredit:Reuters Off duty, she is said to occasionally pop into shops in Ballater near Balmoral when she is staying on her Scottish estate. During her visit to Sainsbury’s in Covent Garden, the Queen was shown around mocked-up store fronts from history. The pop-up store, only a few hundred yards from where Sainsbury’s first set up in business on a stall at 173 Drury Lane in 1869, is open all week for the company’s 150th celebrations.During a half hour visit, the Queen saw a replica of the firm’s first delivery bike, used to take goods to customers in Croydon, south London, before seeing counters displaying the first three items the shops sold: butter, milk and eggs. A mock-up of an original Sainbury’s storeCredit:Reuters The Queen had her suspicions about the self-service check outCredit:Reuters While the Queen is not a regular visitor to supermarkets, she has previously made official visits to shops including a 2016 trip to Waitrose in Poundbury with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Beside one counter, Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, the company’s 91-year-old life president, and his wife Lady Anya, reminisced with the Queen about ration books, which the company helped to introduce during the Second World War.She recalled her ration book – “it was very small” – and told the Sainsburys how the Royal Family used to supplement their rations with eggs and cheese from the farm at Windsor. “As a Sunday treat we had some sweeties. But we were lucky we had a farm,” the Queen said. One item that caught her eye from 1953 was an empty jar of bloater paste, a fish paste made from herring.“Ghastly,” the Queen said.“I was thinking the same,” said Ms Bennett. “Disgusting.”The Queen appeared surprised by some of the items in the modern day shopping basket, which included fish pie and curry ready meals.When Ms Bennett showed her a packet of sachets of porridge and explained people liked the sachets, the Queen said: “Porridge? Tastes have changed.” The Queen sees inside a replica of one of the original Sainsbury’s stores in Covent GardenCredit:Reuters As Queen, she has had little opportunity to get to grips with the mundane reality of modern supermarket shopping.So when she was taught to use a self-service scanner today, she only had one question on her mind: could it be tricked?The Queen, who was visiting a Sainsbury’s store to celebrate the chain’s 150th anniversary, was given a demonstration of a new till and weighing scale, asking: “And you can’t trick it? You can’t cheat then?”Reassured by Damien Corcoran, a regional manager for Sainsbury’s stores in the north east of England, that the weighing scale would catch out any unscrupulous shoppers, the Queen was told how people put items from their baskets on the scales, key in details, and normally pay with credit cards.When the manager claimed many people liked the convenience of being able to do it themselves, she replied: “I’m sure they do. Everybody wants to hurry.”Mr Corcoran also showed her how some shoppers now dispensed with tills altogether, choosing instead to pay via a mobile telephone app. “That’s an interesting tool,” the Queen, who is 93, replied. She was shown how tastes have changed since her Coronation when one Sainsbury’s staff member, Lynn Bennett, showed her a typical shopping basket from 1953 and one from the present day. “I think if I had seen the Queen in one of my stores in the north east of England I would have made sure I had assisted her,” he said.