The Queen Has a Page Whose Job Is to Press a Secret Button as Soon as She's Done Eating

When the Queen finishes a course at dinner, a page presses a secret button to alert the kitchen that it's time for the next course.

  • If you ever happen to have the chance to attend a royal state dinner, watch the Queen and try to match her pace when you're eating because when the monarch is finished eating, everyone is finished eating—whether they particularly like it or not. 
  • In his new book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch, royal author Bryan Kozlowski explains how the royal staff makes sure that courses are cleared as soon as the Queen is finished. 
  • According to Kozlowski, a page stands behind the Queen during the meal and, as soon as she puts down her cutlery, that page presses a secret button to alert the kitchen that it's time to send out the next course.

Being the Queen comes with lots of rules, but also with certain perks. For instance, when you're the Queen, you never have to sit through a boring, drawn out group dinner that won't end because dinner is over as soon as you finish eating.

It's a well-known fact among royal fans that, when dining with the Queen, it's understood that the meal is over when the monarch is done eating. This also goes course-by-course; royal staff swoop in to clear plates—whether guests are finished with them or not—as soon as the Queen is ready for the next course.

According to royal author Bryan Kozlowski in his new book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch, this very old-fashioned, deeply traditional waitstaff dance is achieved through a bit of modern technology at State Dinners. 

"Once the Queen puts down her cutlery, an ever-watchful page behind her presses a button on a handheld zapper, which sends a literal green-light signal to the kitchen, ushering in the next course," Kozlowski writes in the book, citing former royal chef Darren McGrady as the source of his intel.

The moral of the story: If you ever snag an invite to a royal state dinner, make like that page and watch the Queen while she eats and make sure you match her pace—or prepare to potentially go hungry.


london, united kingdom july 10 embargoed for publication in uk newspapers until 24 hours after create date and time meghan, duchess of sussex, prince harry, duke of sussex, prince william, duke of cambridge and catherine, duchess of cambridge watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the royal air force from the balcony of buckingham palace on july 10, 2018 in london, england the 100th birthday of the raf, which was founded on on 1 april 1918, was marked with a centenary parade with the presentation of a new queen's colour and flypast of 100 aircraft over buckingham palace photo by max mumbyindigogetty images

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Weekend Editor at Cosmopolitan

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of professional experience covering entertainment of all genres, from new movie and TV releases to nostalgia, and celebrity news. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.