the-queen

The clever way the Queen is kept safe at royal banquets

Inviting so many guests into her home is a security risk for the monarch

Sophie Hamilton

It may sound like something out of a James Bond film, but did you know that the Queen's staff have a clever way of preventing her from being poisoned at a royal banquet?

Pre-pandemic, the monarch would receive many guests for dinner at Buckingham Palace, including heads of stats, important dignitaries and Britain's aristocracy.

Now imagine that, heaven forbid, someone wanted to harm Her Majesty and slip something into her food. With so many people dining together, it could be tricky keeping tabs on guests – which is why royal courtiers have a plan in place.

MORE: 20 surprising facts about the Queen's royal banquets

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In the Channel 5 documentary Secrets of the Royal Kitchen, royal commentator Emily Andrews revealed that to keep the Queen safe, there is no particular dish created for her during these events. One plate is chosen at random to be served to the royal.

Emily said: "After everything is plated up, a page chooses at random one of the plates to be served to Her Majesty. So if anyone did want to poison the monarch they’d have to poison the whole lot."

How fascinating and clever. We feel relieved knowing the monarch is so well protected at large functions.

MORE: Royal ladies' favourite dinners revealed

queen-banquet

The Queen is protected at banquets by her staff

The Queen is a professional when it comes to hosting state visits, having entertained guests numerous times during her reign.

Did you know that the monarch inspects the horseshoe-shaped table herself in the afternoon before the banquet, checking the preparations with the Master of the Household?

Banquets take a long time to prepare for – six months in fact – and it takes palace staff three days to lay the table!

royal-banquet

Preparing for a royal banquet is a huge task

The Queen is known to be a fast eater and there is actually a rule that stipulates when she finishes her meal, everyone else must also put their knife and fork down too. You should also never touch the Queen and only shake her hand if she offers it.

Furthermore, guests shouldn't leave an event before a royal, unless special permission has been granted, and one should avoid any personal questions in conversation with members of the royal family.

MORE: Royal ladies' favourite lunches: Kate Middleton, Sophie Wessex, Camilla Parker Bowles and more

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