You Have To Follow This Odd Dinner Rule When Eating With The Queen

Being a part of the royal family is no cakewalk. According to Good Housekeeping, there are plenty of dining rules and restrictions that you need to be aware of. Perhaps to no one's surprise, the Queen always gets to take a look at the menu before the start of each week, and she's the one who approves the options, based on her preferences. The Queen really appreciates it when her chefs ensure that they're providing her with seasonal food items like strawberries.

Besides including items or dishes of which the Queen is fond, there are also a few items that you're not going to see on the royal table. Queen Elizabeth II is not fond of garlic, so the royal family stays away from this ingredient. Taste of Home goes so far as to inform us that the Queen "loathes" the ingredient and has forbidden the royal family from eating it. And it would seem that it's considered rude to have unpleasant breath, which makes perfect sense, whether you're royal or not.

Another food you won't be seeing is potatoes. Nor does the Queen eat pasta, it seems (which perhaps is just as well, considering the garlic ban). On the other hand, the family has a number of avid hunters in its ranks, Prince Charles among them, and so their private dinners often feature game that's been bagged by one member or another. In terms of animal protein, however, seafood is strictly a no-show, says Good Housekeeping — at least when the family eats out, for fear of contracting food poisoning.

Be sure to mind your manners

Since we're talking about royalty, however, it's not just what's on the plate that makes a difference. Behavior is much more strictly codified than you'd find at, say, your average McDonald's.

Start with the napkin (which is a good idea, no matter your dining situation). Taste of Home tells us that napkin usage (besides the fact that napkins are required in the first place) are placed in the lap (no tucking into the shirt and spreading across the chest, thank you very much) and when used to wipe, use the inner part of the cloth, which — and this is practical — also keeps the food from soiling your clothes, and is no doubt appreciated by whoever is doing the royal laundry. Fold it in half when you're finished with your meal.

Entertainers have made a visual joke out of the correct handling of teacups since approximately forever, but there's reason for that: At the royal table, teacups are grasped in a very particular way. Thumb and pointer finger are on top of the teacup's handle; middle finger steadies it at the bottom of the handle. Do not touch the cup itself. At all. (But try to enjoy your tea.)

No doubt some would stress about what to wear when dining with the Queen. It's sort of simple: strictly formal for dinner. If you're thinking of wearing your new tiara, go right ahead, provided you're a married woman; they're the only ones allowed to sport those.

It's especially important to know when to stop eating

According to Taste of Home, everyone at the dining table must stop eating when the Queen finishes her meal. Additionally, it's not polite to leave the table before the Queen does. You have to stay put. Of course, the Queen is considerate, a monarch rightfully known for being thoughtful. She often spends extra time on a small amount of food if she knows that others around her are still eating their meals. So, it's unlikely that you'll have to leave without feeling satisfied. But again, it's not impossible. As for telltale signs that the meal is really, really over: The Queen puts her purse on the table. That's your five-minute warning that everything's about to wrap up, says Good Housekeeping.

"Ah!" you say. "What if I want/need to leave the meal before the Queen? And certainly before the appearance of the purse?" It would seem that that's acceptable. The requirement is that you say a simple "excuse me" and you are free to leave, for whatever reason.

You will not find photographs of Queen Elizabeth dining. She has a very strict rule against photographed while she eats, reports Cosmopolitan.

The Queen also has a few other rules that she always follows. Her former chef, Darren McGrady, once told Insider, "Her Majesty's Victorian upbringing dictates that the only thing you would pick up and eat with your fingers is afternoon tea." So this means that the Queen eats even something like a hamburger with cutlery.