The unexpected foods that the royal family won’t eat

We know there are lots of intriguing rules the royal family have to follow, from what they wear to how they curtsy and in what order they do so – remember that scene involving a young Princess Diana in The Crown? But it turns out there are even guidelines around what foods the royal family can and can’t eat in public, as former royal staff have revealed.

Queen Elizabeth II drinking
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Some foods are banned because of their safety risk, such as shellfish, which has a higher chance of causing food poisoning. Former royal butler Grant Harold told Woman & Home magazine: ‘It is a very sensible move to abandon having seafood when out and about on public duties. We don’t want a member of the royal family having a serious reaction to food poisoning, especially if she is on an overseas tour.’

This isn’t too much of a bother to Her Majesty as she reportedly hates oysters, according to former royal servant and author of Dinner at Buckingham Palace, Charles Oliver.

Raw meat

Former palace chef Darren McGrady revealed the Queen doesn’t like raw meat, preferring it to be well-done. Similar to the safety concerns surrounding shellfish, royals are prohibited from eating foods containing raw meat (like steak tartare) to avoid food poisoning when on official engagements.

Kate Middleton and Prince William royal family eating foods
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Darren McGrady also made the shocking revelation that pasta is off the dinner menu. This is because the Queen isn’t a fan of carbs in the evening. ‘When she dines on her own she’s very disciplined. No starch is the rule. No potatoes, rice or pasta for dinner. Just usually something like grilled sole with vegetables and salad,’ Darren said to The Telegraph.

The pasta rule, however, only applies to Her Majesty. So everyone else in the royal family can still enjoy it, which is great news for Prince George, who apparently loves spaghetti carbonara.

Foie Gras

Okay, so this food isn’t as common as pasta, but foie gras is also off the royal menu. Prince Charles made the decision to ban the French delicacy from royal palaces in 2008 over concerns for animal welfare. The royal’s Deputy Master of the Household announced the rule in a letter to a Bristol activist (shown on Peta’s website). It said: ‘I just wanted to reassure you that The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras.’


Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, confirmed that flavourful ingredient garlic is something royals avoid eating. The Duchess of Cornwall made an appearance on Masterchef Australia and was asked if there’s anything absent from the royal dining table. She replied: ‘I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no.’ Guess it wouldn’t be ideal for all those meet-and-greets!