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The one piece of cutlery that's banned at royal palaces

The Queen follows royal tradition with this surprising rule

royal table
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
October 18, 2021
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Imagine being invited to a royal banquet at Buckingham Palace. One pictures a grand table laid with several sets of the finest silver cutlery for one's various courses.

MORE: The Queen loves this easy 10-minute dinner – see the royal recipe

Well, dinner with the Queen is VERY nearly like this – except for one interesting cutlery omission which has remained a tradition since the 15th century, and it's really quite surprising.

WATCH: The Queen's daily diet 

In the book What a thing to say to the Queen by Thomas Blaikie, the author reveals a fascinating fact about royal mealtimes, in particular when the monarch and family eat their fish course.

He writes: "There have been no fish knives in royal palaces since Edward VII denounced them as 'very common'."

the queen

How peculiar! We always thought that using a fish knife was the height of sophistication – plus it makes removing fish bones so much easier.

Fish knives aren't the only thing banished from the royal family's dining tables; many members of the famous family avoid a choice list of foods when on official engagements.

Former royal butler Grant Harold told Woman & Home magazine that royals tend to avoid shellfish to prevent food poisoning. He revealed: "It is a very sensible move to abandon having seafood when out and about on public duties. We don’t want a member of the Royal family having a serious reaction to food poisoning, especially if she is on an overseas tour."

MORE: Prince Charles' amusing dinner party habit makes him one of us

READ: Princess Anne’s favourite dessert will only cost you 10p

palace meal

While Prince Charles banned the French delicacy foie gras in royal palaces in 2008 over concerns for animal welfare. The royal's Deputy Master of the Household announced the rule in a letter to a Bristol activist [shown on Peta's website], saying: "I just wanted to reassure you that The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras."

And the Queen is reportedly not a fan of rare meat - according to former royal chef Darren McGrady, she likes her meat well done. Royals are also prohibited from eating foods containing raw meat such as steak tartare when on official engagements to avoid food poisoning.

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