There Are 2 Annoying Rules You’ll Need To Follow If You Eat Dinner With The Queen
Every household does dinner a little differently. Some families say a prayer before digging into their meal, while other families are totally fine with wheeling a television in the kitchen, or letting the kids eat where they’re most comfortable. There’s no “right way” — it’s just one of the many factors in how every family operates differently. And the same can be said about the royal family.
As you know, Queen Elizabeth II has some pretty strict rules on dining. She (probably) doesn’t eat pizza and prefers that those in her family don’t dine on favorites like seafood and garlic while out meeting with others. The queen is 92 years old and has been on the throne since she was 25, so maybe she’s got a point. In fact, as the longest-reigning monarch, whatever she says should probably go.
It turns out that it’s not just the food that the queen has strict opinions on. There’s also a protocol to follow if you want to dine with the queen. Obviously, you should brush up on your courtesy before the event. Something tells me that the queen is an “elbows off the table” lady, as she should be.
But the two rules in particular that you may not know about are a little less obvious. For one, you can’t sit down until the queen does. And secondly, you can’t eat before she eats.
So really, it’s kind of like the queen sets the pace of dinner. But, she’s probably respectful about it. I doubt she holds up the family during dinner out of spite.
In all honesty, as a commoner, these are rules you might follow anyway. Simply put, you’re probably not going to go on autopilot while dining with someone so notorious.
Personally? I don’t now if I’d be able to even speak in front of the queen. She’s such a beloved figure. Yet I’d still fear doing something wrong, as the queen isn’t afraid to be vocal if she has concerns about mealtime.
For example, you may remember the time the queen was served a salad that didn’t meet her expectations. Or anyone’s, really. According to The Daily Mail, her chef salad arrived with a slug in it. You heard that right.
Thankfully, the queen caught it in time, but made sure to send a note to her kitchen staff. The note reportedly included the dead slug in question with a short note that said, “I found this in the salad – could you eat it?”
Even though it was surely a mistake, you better believe the kitchen staff checked their produce thoroughly after that. Bugs are actually way more common than you think.
Insider writes that one of the most interesting things about the queen’s rule regarding sitting is that it takes place anywhere. So at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, guests couldn’t sit until Queen Elizabeth was seated.
Can you imagine the confusion if she entered a restaurant?
The eating rule has its own special quirk. Not only must guests start after the queen starts, but they have to finish eating their food when she’s done. So if she’s not feeling up to eating, and just grazes her plate for a few minutes, you might end up going hungry.
Again — it makes sense based on the fact that they’re royalty, but it’s something I’m happy I don’t have to follow myself. Especially since with dinners, I’m a big fan of seconds.
Insider also reported that there’s an account of someone who did break a rule. A prince forgot to take note of the queen while dessert was served, and it left people on edge.
“I was once on the Royal Yacht Britannia in the South Pacific and the queen was hosting a dinner for a local prince,” said former royal butler Paul Burrell, who spoke to The Guardian. “Dessert was served. The prince forgot to watch what the queen did —instead, he popped the grapes into his finger bowl, then some cherries, then when the cream and sugar came out, he poured them in too, making a kind of fruit soup. I was standing behind the queen looking horrified. He was about to raise the bowl to his lips to drink it when he looked at the queen and realized he had made a terrible mistake. Not wanting to make him feel awkward, she picked up her finger bowl and took a sip. Now that’s class.”
And it’s also good news. Queen Elizabeth expects the best, but understands that people make mistakes sometimes.
So, what could you expect to be served while dining with the queen? Well, if you showed up for breakfast, you might end up getting cereal.
Turns out, Queen Elizabeth is a fan of Special K and has her own technique for making sure it doesn’t go stale. Her secret? Tupperware.
But according to Today, she prefers meats like lamb and roast beef for dinner. Salmon and mutton are also on the menu pretty often.
It’s been said that the queen isn’t much of a foodie, and doesn’t live to eat. Just the opposite, really — she eats to live.
If you want to eat more like the queen, just remember this: they may be down for roast beef and salmon, but the members in your family might not be too keen on the “you eat after I eat” rule.