The royal family's eating habits have long been a source of fascination. Known for their sweet teeth, the senior royals often finish a meal with a piece of fruit, with bananas, apples, pineapples, peaches, grapes and pears on the menu for the Queen, Princess Anne and co. – but did you know about the unusual way they eat them?
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In line with a long-standing tradition, royals aren't allowed to eat food using their hands. Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously detailed banquet protocol, explaining: "They have a dessert knife and fork, a small plate and a finger bowl of water ... which some guests have been known to drink."
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We've rounded up some of the most surprising fruity facts about royal eating habits…
Princess Anne only eats blackened bananas
Princess Anne reportedly likes to start her day with a bowl of fruit. She often has a bizarre request for her bananas – preferring them to be out of date. Darren previously told TODAY: "[Princess Anne] almost always preferred the bananas almost black — overripe — because they digest easier."
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The Princess Royal has the right idea because over-ripe bananas are actually incredibly good for you. High in antioxidants, they help delay cell damage and can boost your immune system. They're also much better for your digestion because the starchy carbohydrates they contain will be converted into free sugars the longer the banana sits out on the side.
The Queen eats her bananas with a knife and fork
One of our favourite fruity facts has to be the way the Queen eats her bananas. Darren McGrady – who was head chef in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace from 1982 to 1993 – previously revealed she cuts off the top and bottom then slices the skin lengthways, before cutting the fruit into small pieces to pick at with her knife and fork. He previously said this was to avoid looking "like a monkey" at the dinner table.
Meanwhile, if pineapples were on the menu at Buckingham Palace, they would have to be "hollowed out" in order to be sliced and inserted back into the pineapple, before being eaten using cutlery.
Prince William, Prince Harry and Princess Diana
When Darren was cooking for Princess Diana at Kensington Palace, he observed the Princess of Wales' unusual method for eating one of her favourite fruits – pears. The trick was also picked up by a young Prince William and Prince Harry.
"The purveyor would bring about 200 for us to choose the ripest by hand. [Princess Diana and the boys] would slice off the top and eat it with a teaspoon like a boiled egg!", Darren said.
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