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The Queen's bizarre security protocol for banquets may surprise you

Who knew the royals' food has to be X-rayed...

the queen banquet security
Georgia Brown
Senior Lifestyle & Fashion Writer
November 8, 2021
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If you've watched The Crown, you'll know that Michael Fagin successfully broke into Buckingham Palace in 1982 and found himself in The Queen's bedroom.

SEE: The Queen's daily diet revealed by former royal chefs

Following that event, it's no surprise that security protocols at royal events are extremely strict - and even the chef's equipment for royal banquets has to be rigorously checked before being used to serve the monarch. HELLO! spoke to Graham Tinsley MBE, former royal chef and manager of the Welsh Culinary Team, who experienced firsthand the quirks and protocols associated with catering for the royal family - and what they do with the palace cutlery may surprise you...

WATCH: Buckingham Palace shares rare timelapse inside a royal banquet

"If we were just cooking for the royal family, we weren't always aware of the security. It only changed if there were Heads of State coming over, and then the security was really, really tight," explained Graham.

SEE: 3 unusual things Prince Charles can't go without at royal banquets - royal chef exclusive

READ: 6 foods the royal family never eat revealed – and some may surprise you

the queen banquet

All the food at a Heads of State banquet must be X-rayed

The former royal chef revealed that when catering for the royals' engagements in Wales, a satellite kitchen would be set up in the grounds of Cardiff or Caerphilly Castle, then food would be transferred into the banquet on foot. "If we were catering for a Heads of State banquet, however, then all the catering staff would have to meet at a police station and get a motorcycle ride into Cardiff Castle," he explained.

With so many VIPs in one room, everyone from royal staff to experienced royal chefs had to follow a rigorous security procedure before being allowed to cater for the Queen and co. 

banquet toast

Planning a royal banquet can sometimes take several weeks

"For higher calibre banquets, we're required to put all our food, containers, knives and kitchen equipment through an X-ray machine whilst motorcycles then drove us into the castle," revealed Graham. Who knew Her Majesty's food needed to be X-rayed before it landed on her plate?

"Some banquets are even had code names to protect their security!" said Graham.

The Vines is the most recent restaurant development at Carden Park, offering exquisite dining in an elegant evening atmosphere. Executive Chef Graham Tinsley MBE and Head Chef Harri Williams have formulated a classic à la carte menu with the finest locally sourced ingredients, showcasing true culinary craftsmanship. Bookings for Carden Park ‘The Vines’ can be made at

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