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Royal eating habits have long been fascinating—there is much the public doesn’t have in common with the royal family, but, hey, we all have to eat. And, though the most delectable cuisines prepared by renowned chefs are available at royals’ disposal, it seems four items will rarely if ever make it to the menu.
For example, members of the royal family avoid shellfish for risk of shellfish poisoning, which could impede their busy work schedules at home and abroad.
“When dining, the royal family has to be careful with shellfish due to shellfish poisoning due to their work schedules,” former royal butler and etiquette expert Grant Harrold told the Daily Express. “Therefore, you will not normally find this on the royal menu.”
The Queen personally dislikes onions and garlic, so those items are seldom found in the royal kitchen. During an appearance on MasterChef Australia, Camilla herself confirmed the latter after being asked what foods royals won’t eat.
“I hate to say this, but garlic,” the Duchess of Cornwall said. “Garlic is a no-no.”
Camilla also isn’t likely eating foie gras, as her husband, Prince Charles, removed the dish from the royal menu several years ago because of animal welfare concerns. Andrew Farquharson, the deputy master of the household at Clarence House—Charles and Camilla’s residence—once told the Daily Mail “the Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras.” (If you look into how foie gras is made, you’ll understand why.)
And, at his country home at Highgrove, Charles grows his own organic produce and keeps his own chickens on the estate—a practice grandson Archie Mountbatten-Windsor has also adopted at his home in California (remember “Archie’s Chick Inn” from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey?).
It has long been reported that Her Majesty favors the same breakfast roughly every day—cereal, yogurt, toast, and marmalade, with a spot of Earl Grey tea and biscuits, per Hello!—and Charles, like his mother, is a creature of habit around food, too. He usually skips lunch in favor of a late breakfast and dinner only.
“Lunch is seen as a luxury that gets in the way of his work, so he eats a late breakfast and works through,” former royal correspondent Gordon Rayner told the Telegraph.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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