The Royal Family Has to Follow These 12 Food Rules
Ever wonder what it's like to dine with the royal family? Everything from a dress code to the way you hold your fork and cup are regulated.
Rules Start When They Enter the Room
The royal family always enters a room in the Order of Precedence, meaning the hierarchy of ascendancy to the throne. The Queen obviously goes first, and Harry and Megan will enter after William and Kate. These recipes are inspired by the royal family’s favorite foods.
Heartbreaker! Garlic is banned from the royal table. The Queen reportedly loathes the stuff, plus it’s considered poor manners to have unpleasant breath. Our favorite garlic recipes are definitely a silver lining of being a commoner.
Dinners Must Be Queen Approved
The Queen previews and approves all meals for the week, as is her privilege! She reportedly prefers lighter fare in the evening, so heavy carbs like potatoes, rice and pasta are off the menu. These lighter meals are royal-worthy.
Hold That Teacup with Care
Think that picking up a teacup is a no-brainer? Not so for royals. There’s a strict way to hold a cup: put the thumb and pointer finger on top of the handle, and use the middle finger to stabilize the bottom of the handle. The actual cup shouldn’t be touched, and the second hand absolutely shouldn’t get involved! Here’s the Queen’s favorite tea.
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Brandishing a fork and knife seems self-explanatory, but the royals do it a certain way. Hold the fork in the left hand, the knife in the right, and use them in tandem throughout the meal. The knife, when not slicing, should be used to scoop food onto the fork. The royals never let utensils squeak against the plate!
There’s a Dress Code
Naturally, the royals dress up more than the average family. Most dinners are formal affairs, meaning that women wear dresses and stockings, and men wear trousers and coats. Other guidelines, like wearing modest necklines, apply as well. Here are two more rules you need to follow if you eat with the Queen.
Eat What You Hunt
The royals enjoy hunting at their country houses, and for private dinners, they often eat game. Prince Charles is particularly a fan of eating what he shoots. The whole royal family loves this dish.
Never Sit in the Wrong Seat
Among the royal staffers is an entire team dedicated to seating organization: the Office of the Marshal of the Court. They make sure everyone sits in the proper seat during large dinners and events; you can bet there’s not a free-for-all scramble to sit by Prince Harry.
Conversation Is Metered
Don’t expect a raucous group conversation. The Queen speaks to the person on her right through the first course, and then switches to the person to her left. She’s known for asking questions rather than putting forth her own opinions.
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The Meal Ends When the Queen Is Done
There’s a simple way to tell when a dinner is over: when the Queen has finished, everyone is finished—and nobody leaves until the Queen is done. As expected, though, she’s perfectly gracious, reportedly pushing a bit of food around her plate if others are still eating. Follow these everyday etiquette tips for dining at home.