Etiquette rules are not the only thing the royal family has to abide by when out and about in public. One of the things you may not know is that they also have some dietary restrictions.
The BBC previously reported that the rules of the British monarchy include a no shellfish policy. Those seafood delights that you love to indulge in like lobster tails, crab cakes, or shrimp fettucine are off the menu for a perfectly good reason.
What’s it? To prevent any episodes of food poisoning while traveling abroad. Public appearances can’t be disrupted with stomach issues, so the restrictions were issued that shellfish be nixed. Where did this originate?
Rumor has it that it stems from royal rules from centuries ago when doctors couldn’t prevent deaths and illness from food-related ailments. These days, it’s considered more of a wise recommendation. That’s why you may see Prince Charles enjoying oysters and crabs while Queen Elizabeth does not eat any shellfish at all.
Shellfish is particularly susceptible to bacteria that causes food poisoning, with some of those toxins being heat stable. When it comes to food safety, the risk of eating raw or cooked shellfish is relatively the same— which, depending on where it’s sourced, can be quite high.
It’s understandable that the royal family would not want to take that risk. A quick search of international travel tips will reveal that water, seafood, and unpasteurized dairy dishes should probably be avoided. No one wants to spend their trip under the weather. It sounds like Buckingham Palace is definitely on top of things.
Additionally, spicy foods, meat that is cooked rare, and foreign tap water are also banned for the royals. Again, anything that could cause tummy upset or a food-borne illness is strongly advised against.
The BBC also reported that saucy foods (like spaghetti with marinara ) were also restricted if thought to cause a terrible mess. Garlic is untouchable by the Queen, whether at home or abroad, because she is not a fan of its smell or taste. And we all know what it can do to the breath, right?
In an interview with the Telegraph, former palace chef Darren McGrady shared that the Queen follows her own dietary protocol that she adamantly sticks to. She does not eat starches with her dinner.
That dashes any hopes you may have of seeing her nosh on French fries. She prefers vegetables, fish, or salads. One thing that she absolutely loves is chocolate. Who can blame her? Click on the short clip below to hear more!
It’s not clear if this is still in effect, but Buckingham Palace will make known all of these meal-related policies to foreign nations when the royals are visiting. One thing is for sure, it seems possible that some of these standards have become a bit more relaxed over the past few years.
Could you resist shellfish if you were a royal? What do you think of the food restrictions? Are there certain foods you avoid while traveling?