Etiquette of the royal family: how they eat in the palace
5 Min Read
The life of the British royal family is subject to the regime, rules and protocols that are designed for different situations. Receptions, official events, weddings, funerals and even childbirth are largely regulated. There are rules for eating and they are not so obvious, some cannot find a rational explanation. We found out exactly what you need to know in order to dine with Elizabeth II. It is not that simple!
Guests cannot be 13
The events in which the queen participates are small, chamber and quite large-scale. There is also a rule regarding the number of guests: there are never 13 of them. Less or more — please, but definitely not 13. It is not clear whether this is due to superstition or some other facts, but the «unlucky» number of guests at the dinner table simply does not going.
Seating according to the protocol
At official events, a special person will take care of the seating of guests. He will see to it that each guest takes the place allotted to him. You can’t transfer!
Those who were seated next to the Queen will have a short conversation with Elizabeth II. But also strictly in compliance with the rules: before the second course of dishes takes place, she will talk to the one who sits on the right. After the break — with his neighbor on the left. And nothing else.
Dress code is important
Elizabeth II and other stars who met when they were young
Queen Elizabeth first met the man of her life in 1934. Eight-year-old Lilibet, as her parents affectionately called her, was a guest at the wedding of the Greek Princess Marina in Westminster Abbey. The celebration was also attended by 13-year-old Philip. It was only a formal acquaintance.
Do you think that everyone knows how to use napkins? The royal family has its own rules. As part of the existing protocol, the napkin should be folded in half, and stains from the sauce or drops from the broth should be wiped exclusively with the side of the cloth that is inside. So you can kill two birds with one stone: the used napkin will not stain everything around, and besides, no one will see how dirty it is.
Drinking tea is not easy either.
Have a cup of tea with the queen? That sounds good. But only if you know how to hold a cup of tea the right way, and not the way you have to. Practice if you want: index and thumb should hold the handle at its top, if necessary, the middle finger can rest against the base of the handle.
But this is where the difficulties end. The very traditional British tea is tea with milk. First, tea is poured into a cup, then milk is added, and then it is all mixed. It is unacceptable to even touch the sides of the cup with a spoon while stirring, and certainly no ringing should be heard.
The queen knows what to do
It is quite clear that not all royal rules are obvious and understandable. Take the same napkin. But there is one trick that many use. If you don’t know how to hold a cup, which knife to choose and which hand to hold a fork in, you just need to look at Elizabeth and repeat after her. She will definitely do everything right.
The menu is chosen by the queen
All the dishes that the royal chef can prepare are listed in a large cookbook made especially for Elizabeth II. The chef may suggest menus for the day or the week, but the Queen has the final say. The recipes in the book take into account the taste and dietary preferences of the queen and others, the chef knows a lot about members of the royal family.
There are some foods that are never on the royal table: seafood, because they can be poisonous, garlic, and pasta for dinner, since eating pasta in the evening is not the healthiest habit. In addition, when it comes to eating outside the palace walls, where the quality of food is guaranteed, then members of the royal family are forbidden to drink tap water (only from bottles) and eat raw meat dishes.
Fruit is a must
But the queen is always happy with seasonal vegetables and fruits. Strawberries served in the summer will be approved, and the same berries included in the menu in January will be rejected — winter is definitely not the season for strawberries. But there is an important exception here. The queen is a fan of mangoes, and therefore these ripe fruits are always in the palace. no matter what season it is outside.
The end means the end
After Elizabeth II has finished her meal, no one has the right to continue eating. Even if there was an impressive portion of incredibly delicious dishes left on the plate. But there is another trap — you can’t finish eating before the queen either.
Fortunately, Elizabeth II never eats fast and usually leaves a little salad or side dish on her plate so that all the guests have time to get enough while she copes with them. In general, again you need to follow the queen and try to eat at her pace.