Picture this: It has been a long few months at work, and now it’s time to finally take a vacation. You decide to eat a delicious dinner at a restaurant to celebrate your first night out (or make one of these restaurant recipes at home) to celebrate. But afterward, you somehow find yourself getting incredibly ill from something you ate. It’s the saddest story that no one ever wants to tell, which is why the royal family tends to stay away from seafood while traveling.
9 bizarre eating habits of the royal family
9 bizarre eating habits of the royal family
Harry and William love fast food, especially McDonald's
The diet of a prince doesn't just revolve around lobster platters and foie gras (as most of us are inclined to believe). While Prince Harry and William are royal princes by stature, they are known to have more common palates. Former royal family personal chef Darren McGrady told Marie Claire, "I remember Princess [Diana] came into the kitchen one day and said, 'Cancel lunch for the boys I'm taking them out, we're going to McDonald's. And I said, 'Oh my God your royal highness, I can do that, I can do burgers.' And she said, 'No, it's the toy they want.' Yeah, the boys loved McDonald's, and going out to pizza, and having potato skins—sort of the American foods." We don't blame them. McDonald's fries are addictive. Here's the secret ingredient.
Philip once made the staff swap dinners with him
Although it may be a rule of thumb that fancier dinners call for smaller portions, Prince Philip certainly abides by a different rule book. McGrady shares, "[Prince Philip] came into the kitchen and said, 'What's for dinner tonight?' And I said, 'I have these little one-inch eyes of lamb meat for you, your Royal Highness.' He looked and said, 'What's that—what are they?' And I said, 'Oh, those are chops, Your Highness.' He wanted to know who they were for, and I said, 'staff.' And he said, 'Oh, can't we have those?' I ended up giving him these big meatier pieces, and the staff had the other pieces." (Also, did you know the royal family is banned from eating shellfish in public?)
Princess Diana was on a very strict diet, but nobody suspected her bulimia
While most of us now know about Princess Diana's bulimia, you'd be surprised to hear about the extent to her strictly enforced diet. McGrady reports that he used to make her fat-free versions of dishes, and she would "trick" fellow guests at the table into thinking she was eating the same thing. In addition, red meat was completely off limits, and every meal was curbed into healthy eating: "One day she said to me, 'Darren, I want you to take care of all the fats, and I'll take care of the carbs at the gym.' We changed everything, I threw out my Buckingham Palace recipe book and got into healthy eating," says McGrady. "When she was at Buckingham Palace, her bulimia was definitely a hidden thing. We didn't know about it. It wasn't until she confronted it, and everyone put two and two together, that she started really healthy eating...she liked dishes like stuffed bell peppers and stuffed eggplant—she loved fish." (In Princes Diana's self-told story about Prince Charles, it is revealed that her husband had a huge impact on her eating disorder).
Prince Philip was not into Charles' organic food
Apparently, green eating just isn't for everyone. According to McGrady, Prince Philip wasn't as keen on organic fare as Charles was. "We always used to get a hamper [full of food and treats] from Harrods—a thank you gift for shopping with them. Prince Philip came into the kitchen and there were two hampers. He said, 'Oh, is this a Harrods hamper?" I said, 'No, your highness, this is a hamper the Prince of Wales brought with him.' He looked puzzled so I opened it up and I said, 'It's all organic.' And he said, 'Oh, bloody organic!' And just shook his head and walked out."
The family would lie to the Queen Mother about dinner time
You know that trick you use to get your constantly late friend to be on time? It's used in the royal palaces, too. McGrady reveals that because of Queen Elizabeth's tendency to arrive late to every family dinner, the rest of the family would lie about the dinner schedule so that she would actually show up at a reasonable time. "Dinner was at 8:30 in Balmoral when Her Majesty the Queen Mother was in attendance. They used to tell her that dinner was at 8:15, and she'd be the last one down. They told everyone else 8:30 because they knew she'd be late," he notes.
The Queen ate out of Tupperware
Turns out that even the Queen understands the value of practicality. While Her Majesty does eat food off of diamond-encrusted or solid gold plates (totally standard), McGrady informs that "at Balmoral she'd eat fruit from a plastic yellow Tupperware container." And that's not all–she would also dabble in some classic Kellogg's for breakfast from a plastic container which she would serve herself. (As a true Brit, it would come with a cup of Darjeeling tea).
The Queen's favorite food is dark chocolate
If you're ever in need of a gift idea, take note from Queen Elizabeth: chocolate is always the way to go. "The Queen loves to eat any food from the estate—so game birds, pheasants, grouse, partridge—she loves those to be on the menu. But of course, she loves chocolate. That was her favorite, and it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better."
Everyone must dress up for dinner
Although Balmoral (their Scottish holiday home) is where the royal family really lets their hair down, the typical dinner would normally entails Downtown Abbey levels of formal. "They'd come down in dressy ball gowns, and sit at the table—like a Downton Abbey dinner. All the fine china was brought out. At the end of the meal, a bagpipe player would walk around the table," McGrady says. Even so, nobody is perfect; McGrady also notes that Prince Philip was known to dress so tattily that he once mistook him for the gardener. (No matter how they're dressed, these are the 14 etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.)
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Although seafood is delicious, there tends to be a higher chance for food poisoning or sickness from seafood. Since the royal family is lined up for thousands of engagements throughout the year, it only makes sense that they would want to stay their healthiest for those public appearances. Seafood, particularly shellfish, will certainly increase the chances for food sickness.
According to an article published by BBC, the royal family also avoids foods that could create “gastronomic indisposition.” Along with avoiding shellfish, they try to stay away from rare meat, foreign water, and any food that is too exotic or spicy. However, this has not stopped Queen Elizabeth from trying something adventurous every now and then. But no matter what the Queen eats, anyone dining with her must follow these two rules.
Lucky enough for us, seafood is never off limits, so you’ll probably find us attempting one of our top-rated fish recipes.
RELATED: Royal wedding mishaps:
15 bizarre royal wedding mishaps that are totally true
15 bizarre royal wedding mishaps that are totally true
No shut-eye for the groom
Wedding day jitters weren't the only thing that kept Prince William up all night before he tied the knot with the lovely former Kate Middleton—the ruckus and hubbub from all his supportive yet noisy well-wishers were also to blame. "They were singing and cheering all night long, so the excitement of that, the nervousness of me and everyone singing—I slept for about half an hour," William said, according to The Daily Mail.Learn the surprising rule Kate Middleton has to follow at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.
Something borrowed, something blue and something broken?
Even the unflappable Queen Elizabeth II had to deal with a wedding mishap: her broken tiara. "The Fringe Tiara was given to Queen Elizabeth on her wedding day, and the hairdresser broke it," royal jeweler House of Garrard told Marie Clairein an interview. "On that day, they had police escort it to the House of Garrard workshops. We fixed the tiara that morning, had it sent back to Queen Elizabeth, and then she got married in it. You don't expect the royals to have those sorts of mix-ups, but they do!"
In hindsight, it was an ominous sign about the future of her marriage when Princess Diana flip-flopped the first and middle name of her groom referring to him as "Philip Charles" rather than "Charles Philip." Barbara Walters made this comment about the flub, "All it did was endear her more to her people because it was human and understandable." Check out more secrets you might not know about Princess Di.
You may be familiar with the term runaway bride, but what about runaway horse? That's exactly what happened as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's procession left Westminster Abbey after they got hitched. According to ABC News, one of the horses in the procession got spooked from the revelry of the crowd and tossed the cavalry guardsman riding him to the tarmac below. Neither the horse nor the guardsman was harmed.
It wouldn't be a wedding unless someone... tripped? Although Princess Diana's train was 25 feet long, she managed it flawlessly. Her 5-year-old bridesmaid Clementine Hambro, Winston Churchill's granddaughter and Diana's former student, however, tripped on it. Diana gently asked little Clementine if she had "bumped her bottom." Don't miss these other 15 secrets you never knew about Charles and Diana's wedding.
Don't cry over ... spilled perfume
When Princess Diana walked down the aisle in her now iconic wedding dress, little did the crowd know it had been stained from her favorite perfume, Quelques Fleurs. Her makeup artist Barbara Daly spilled the beans about the spilled perfume, explaining it was Diana that got it on the dress by mistake, reports People. According to the magazine, Daly told the soon-to-be princess "to simply hold that spot on her dress as she was walking to make it seem like she was lifting the front of her dress so she didn't step on it. She was even spotted trying to cover the spot where the perfume spilled with her hand as she approached the altar." Check out which perfume scents other royals chose to wear on their special day.
Got the goods
Prince Charles flubbed his wedding vows when reciting them to Diana. Rather than promise to share "all his worldly goods" he inadvertently omitted the word "worldly" and only mentioned "goods."
Stamp collecting faux pas
If you lived in New Zealand in 2011, you may have been the recipient of a postage stamp created to celebrate the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Although the stamp was meant to commemorate the lovely couple tying the knot, ABC Newsreports that when users went to put the stamp on a letter to mail they ended up having to "tear apart the happy couple." Wedding stamp fail.
A wrinkle in time
The train of Diana's wedding dress was truly one for the record books. At 25 feet in length, dress designer David Emanuel accommodated Diana's wishes when she kept asking for a longer and longer train. Of course, all that extra fabric had to get to St. Paul's Cathedral with the bride-to-be in it. Unfortunately, shoving large amounts of taffeta into a glass coach can result in one wrinkled train. Don't miss these 18 iconic royal wedding photos throughout history.
The ring was too small
Slipping the wedding ring on the bride's finger is a ritual not even a royal prince would dare challenge, but what if the ring doesn't fit? That's what happened to Prince William during his exchange of vows with Kate Middleton. Turns out Kate had earlier had Diana's famous engagement ring resized to fit her finger because it was slipping off. So she also had her wedding band sized smaller—a little too small—and it got stuck as William tried to put it on. But after a bit of a struggle, Prince William finally managed to slip the ring on his bride's finger. "It has now become a subject of amusement to her and William," notes The Daily Mail.
There's nothing surprising about guests getting drunk at a wedding, but when it's the groom who is smashed, who also happens to be king, it's another story entirely. Way back in 1795, King George IV was so drunk that after his nuptials his bride Catherine of Brunswick left him under a grate. Perhaps Catherine already knew what she was getting herself into based on meeting her betrothed for the first time at St. James Palace. "She very properly…attempted to kneel to him," said onlooker Lord Malmesbury in his diary. "He raised her (gracefully enough) and embraced her, said barely one word, turned around, retired to a distant part of the apartment, calling me to him and said, 'Harris, I am not well, pray get me a glass of brandy.'" These are the etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.
Nerves on overdrive
Back in 1736, Princess Augusta was just sick about having to marry Prince Frederick, so much so that she actually vomited right after the ceremony. Prince Frederick, the eldest son and heir of King George II, wasn't much of a charmer, and he supposedly yelled in Princess Augusta's ear when she messed up her vows. Not to mention, the princess was said to have begged her mother, Queen Caroline, "Please don't leave me." The poor Danish princess was only a mere 17 years old, plus, she'd never even met her much older groom before, according to the book Royal Babylon: The Alarming History of European Royalty.
Although Diana looked lovely in the Spencer family tiara, the hairpiece gave the bride a pounding headache. ''In the evening [after the wedding] we all went to a sort of semi-private party," Charles Spencer, Princess Di's brother, told Elle. "And she was there and she seemed incredibly relaxed and happy and I just remember she had a cracking headache too, because she wasn't used to wearing a tiara all morning." Read on for the 10 other wedding etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.