Scroll To See More Images
Now that she’s an official member of the British royal family, Meghan Markle has a lot to learn when it comes to being a duchess. From who gets to enter and leave a room first (The Queen, obvi) to the clothes that will never be a part of Markle’s royal wardrobe (throw out those ripped jeans), the royal family unsurprisingly has a lot of strict rules, and their diet is no exception.
Let’s examine the ordinary and not-so-ordinary foods that Markle will have to cut out of her diet now that she’s a royal. Of course, each food has its own specific situation where it can and cannot be eaten (these are the royals, we’re talking about), but here is a comprehensive list of foods that have some sort of royal rule associated with them. Could you live on the royal diet?
Foie gras might be considered one of the most upscale meals there is, but in the royal family, they won’t even come close to it. In 2008, Prince Charles banned royal households from serving foie gras, a luxury dish consisting of fatty duck or goose liver, amid outrage over animal cruelty. The dish was banned from all royal menus except for the royal House of Cheese which continued to serve it until its warrant was up for review.
“The Prince of Wales has asked me to write and thank you for your letter about animal welfare issues surrounding the production of foie gras and your experience in Tetbury,” Andrew Farquharson, Prince Charles’s Deputy Master of the Household, told the Daily Mail in a statement. “I just wanted to reassure you that The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras. His Royal Highness was not aware that the House of Cheese sells foie gras and this will be addressed when their warrant is reviewed.”
Garlic is an ingredient that appears in almost every meal—except the royal’s. In an interview with the Express, Darren McGrady, the royal chef at Buckingham Palace, revealed that royal family members are prohibited from eating garlic. Per the Express, Queen Elizabeth II is known to hate garlic, which is why she banned it from royal menus. Known for its strong smell, garlic is also off-limits in the palace to avoid royal family members from having smelly breath when taking important meetings. “The Queen would never have garlic on the menu,” McGrady said.
Though onions aren’t flat-out banned like garlic, don’t expect a lot of it in royal meals. In the same Express interview, McGrady revealed that Queen Elizabeth II has a strict limit on how much onion can be put in a dish. In the same vein as garlic, onion can make royal family members have bad breath, which is why the Queen limits its usage.
“We can never serve anything with garlic or too much onions,” McGrady said.
Pasta is an easy and filling meal that almost every household eats. But don’t count on it being served in Buckingham Palace. In an interview with Recipes-Plus, McGrady revealed that Queen Elizabeth II has a distaste for pasta and prefers lighter entrees, such as fish with vegetables (usually two kinds), big salads and fruit. In the royal family, pasta is usually reserved for special occasions.
In the same vein as pasta, potatoes are also banned in Buckingham Palace due to Queen Elizabeth II’s distaste for starchy foods. Though they’re not completely banned, potatoes are usually reserved for special occasions, like pasta. For everyday meals, the royal family sticks to light proteins, like fish and grilled chicken, and vegetables.
In the royal family, there is only one way to eat meat: well-done. In an interview with Recipes-Plus, McGrady revealed that Queen Elizabeth II’s preference for cooked meat is well done, which is why she has a strict no-rare-meat rule in the royal household. “We also couldn’t serve meat that was rare, as she liked her meat more well done,” McGrady said.
Rice is another starchy staple that you won’t find in the royal households. Along with pasta and potatoes, the grain is known to only make appearances at special occasions, as Queen Elizabeth II prefers lighter, carb-free meals.
Though fish is a staple in royal meals, shellfish and seafood are banned from royal menus. According to the BBC, the royals are forbidden from eaten seafood, especially when traveling, to avoid food poisoning and stomach aches. However, Queen Elizabeth II is known to have eaten seafood once in her reign, which was in 1986 when she visited China and ate a sea cucumber.
If there’s one rule when it comes to banned royals foods, it’s that anything that can cause stomach aches or bad breath is forbidden. Queen Elizabeth II also discouraged royals from drinking tap water, specifically when abroad, to avoid the risk of queasiness, especially when they have to meet with important government heads.