Foods Meghan Markle Is Prohibited From Eating

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Former actress Meghan Markle's life completely changed on May 19th, 2018, when she married Prince Harry and entered into the British royal family. Not coming from a royal background, she had to give up several parts of her lifestyle: She's not allowed to have social media, she cannot be political, and she had to retire from acting. But the changes didn't end there — Markle has to adhere to a set of rules that even dictate what she can and cannot eat. As a lifestyle blogger, Markle often posted about the things she liked to cook, the places she loved dining at, and the foods she would try when she traveled. Now, she can't even eat a popular ingredient used in most meals.

Luckily for Markle, these rules are mostly based on dining events involving other members of the royal family (especially when eating at Buckingham Palace), or while traveling abroad. A self-proclaimed foodie, Markle enjoys cooking, and likely does as she pleases within her own home. Stepping out into the public however, is a different matter. These are the foods Markle is prohibited from eating, now that she's a member of the royal family.


Meghan Markle has admitted quite a few times that garlic is one of her favorite foods. She uses it in her favorite recipes, including her Filipino chicken adobo. Since entering into the royal family however, its one of the top foods she must now avoid. Darren McGrady, a former Royal Chef at Buckingham Palace, told Express that, when preparing meals for royal gatherings, "The Queen would never have garlic on the menu." Part of it is the Queen's preference, but the bulbous food practically found in everything can significantly interfere with royal accord outside of the palace as well. During an appearance on MasterChef Australia, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, implied that garlic was a "no-no" since garlic breath would severely impact the interactions royals are involved with every day.

Garlic sure tastes good, but as an allium plant, it can offer eaters some pretty undesirable after effects. It can increase heartburn and gas, both unpleasant experiences  — especially when you're in a crowd. The scent of garlic can also linger long after one has consumed it... and that's not a good scent for a duchess. 


Enjoying some seafood pasta and sipping on a Negroni was once the ideal meal for Markle, but now that she's on the road entertaining royal duties, her seafood habit gets partially put on hold. That's because royals are highly discouraged from consuming shellfish. And it makes a lot of sense: this kind of food can cause severe food poisoning. According to an article on The Guardian, shellfish — especially clams, oysters, and mussels — pose a few potential threats. "Bacteria, such as E coli, are almost always present at some level in any bivalve," the article suggests. "There is also a risk in some areas of pollution from heavy metals and industrial compounds."

This rule is most important to follow when the Duchess of Sussex is out and about; vomiting in public is most unbecoming of a royal, so she must refrain from consuming shrimp cocktail until she's within the comfort of her own home. Although to be fair, this rule isn't always upheld depending on what's being served, and who is in the spotlight: Prince Charles has sometimes been seen noshing on shellfish outside of the palace.

Tap water

Keeping hydrated is key for Markle, who has discussed how important water is for her daily routine. She starts her morning with hot water and lemon, and keeps drinking H20 so she's refreshed all day long. However, now that she's performing royal duties, she'll have to ensure there's bottled water on hand. Tap water is absolutely off limits when she's abroad. Research from the United Nations states, "Declining water quality has become a global issue of concern as human populations grow." That's bad news for most folks, but a warning signal for members of the royal family especially.

Part of her duties as Duchess includes traveling the world extensively, sometimes to places where the water systems aren't up to royal standards. That doesn't mean the water in those places is totally toxic, but having a sip from an unfamiliar faucet could bring on a whole host of issues. According to the World Health Organization, "Contaminated water can transmit diseases such diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio." It's best for Markle to drink only filtered or bottled water while outside the comfort of her own home (let's just hope she recycles!).

Raw meat

Sushi used to be one of Markle's favorite eats, but it's one of the items she's had to cross off her list since becoming the Duchess of Sussex. Raw meat, be it steak, fish, or otherwise, is strongly discouraged for consumption as a royal. It's mostly linked to food poisoning, according to Dr. Robert Tauxe, an employee at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in an interview for Time. Sushi isn't as bad — the microorganisms in raw fish are different from that of land mammals, according to Tauxe — but even so, Markle will probably be limiting her sashimi intake.

It's most important for Markle to adhere to this food rule while traveling; food storage systems vary around the world, and she'll have to ensure that her meats are cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit so as to lower the risk of contracting a food-borne illness. That means well-done steaks, for the time being, especially at events outside of her own kitchen.

Fois gras

Fancy royals feast on fancy foods, right? Not all stereotypical upperclass eats are allowed at Buckingham Palace however. Fois gras is considered to be a delicacy around the world, but if Markle wants to try it, she'll have to do it out of sight of Prince Charles. The process of making fois gras is actually illegal in the United Kingdom, and in 2008, he banned fois gras from being served at the royal palace, while instructing several royally appointed grocery shops to stop selling it as well. He's not a self-proclaimed animal rights activist — he still eats meat — but it does seem the Prince of Wales is on the side of ethics when it comes to how goose liver is consumed.

While fois gras is not strictly prohibited for Markle to consume, it'd most likely be seen as a royal offense should she choose to eat it. Kate Middleton almost got into a bit of trouble when she reportedly ordered fois gras during a lunch with Camilla Parker Bowles back in 2011. If she wants to stay in her father-in-law's good graces, she'll skip the pate.

Spicy food

Being a foodie, Markle was no stranger to adding a little "spice"  to her lifestyle. She loved adding hot sauce to her favorite dishes, and interestingly enough, one of her favorite condiments is Terroni's peperoncini piccanti, red chilies marinated in oil, made at a restaurant in Toronto. Ordering a meal with enhanced flavors may be a thing of the past, however. Now that she's included in royal engagements, the spicy dishes she used to love have to take a back seat. That could make things difficult in places like the Caribbean, which is home to several British Commonwealth member countries, and which is also known for its flavorful cuisine.

Spicy food has a lot of benefits — it speeds up your metabolism, and naturally helps boost your immune system, according to Women's Health. These are all things Markle can certainly benefit from, especially with the hectic schedules royals often have. However, the side effects of spicy food can definitely put a damper on things: the same article states that overly flavorful food can also result in really bad heartburn, skin irritation, and diarrhea. While Prince William and Kate Middleton have admitted their favorite takeout food is curry, they keep it within the walls of their own home, especially because Prince William does not take to spice very well. It seems Markle will have to find other less intense ways to flavor her food as a royal.

Exotic dishes

Markle's now defunct blog The Tig used to chronicle her travels around the world; one of her favorite things was getting to try new foods abroad. According to an interview for Delish, she once recalled having tried Pad Thai at a low-key restaurant near Bangkok, that made her question everything she used to know about Thai food. She may need to reign things in however, as she travels as a royal. That's because anything "exotic" is generally not to be consumed by the royal family while abroad. Unfamiliar ingredients, while often delicious, can interfere in undesirable ways. "The food you eat at home isn't necessarily 'safer' than food abroad; it's often simply that your body isn't accustomed to it," states an article on Smarter Travel. Locals might be used to certain microbes that exist outside of the UK, but visitors might need to time adjust to them. And since Traveler's Diarrhea is no joke, the royal family can't risk being unwell when they have such packed itineraries.

Anything before the queen has eaten or after the queen is finished eating

When it comes to dining in-house with the Queen, there are plenty of rules Markle has to keep in mind. Her appetite is at the mercy of Queen Elizabeth, who sets the standard when it comes to just how she wants to spend her time at the table. This rule goes back as far as the age of Queen Victoria (and perhaps even further, though it's best documented during her reign). According to historian Kate Hubbard, author of Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household"She liked her dinners to last no more than half an hour. Guests would quite often find their plates whisked away while they were still eating because once she had finished, all the plates were removed." The same holds true today: if you're dining with the Queen, and she indicates that she has had her fill, you better slurp that last bit of soup or else you'll end up with a rumbling stomach.

Similarly, Markle shouldn't come to the palace hungry — another dining-with-the-Queen rule is that no one is allowed to touch their food before the Queen has had the first bite. She hasn't been known to make guests wait for an obscene amount of time, but all the same, Markle's best move is keeping her hands in her lap until the Queen indicates it's time to take up her knife and fork.

Anything the Queen doesn't like

Aside from general etiquette, Markle will no longer get to eat her favorite food (pasta) while with the Queen. There is a whole list of foods the Queen does not fancy, so much to the point that she's prohibited them from being served at all. This includes the aforementioned garlic, as well as onions, which her chefs are strictly instructed to avoid. According to former Royal Chef Darren McGrady, potatoes, rice, pasta and other starches are rarely, if ever, served. She also refuses to eat fruits and vegetables that are out of season, so if Markle is hoping for a strawberry tart in January, she'll have to wait until June. What typically gets served at the Queen's table are simpler dishes, like poached fish with salad, or a mix of vegetables. Still delicious, but not the vision of a royal feast most often think of.

At least chocolate is allowed. The Queen has a penchant for dark chocolate, so much so that she sometimes travels with a chocolate biscuit cake. Maybe pairing it with Markle's red wine hot chocolate recipe will help alleviate any carb cravings the Duchess may have.