Have you ever imagined in your wildest dreams of having dinner with someone you idolize?
You’re probably thinking of celebrities, singers, and other famous people from the entertainment business, but have you ever considered England’s ruler, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II?
There’re plenty of reasons to share a table with the 92-year-old – after all, she has been ruling the country for more than 65 years now, which means she has a lot of interesting stories to tell.
What’s more, it’ll be quite interesting to know some stories behind the public appearances and other royal family members’ quirks.
Although it sounds too good to be true to ever have dinner with Queen Elizabeth, if you’re ever presented with the golden opportunity, you’ll need to know what is and isn’t permitted, according to the royal etiquette.
Don’t worry, even other members of the family must follow a strict set of rules when they eat with the nonagenarian. Perhaps, the two most essential rules to remember are:
Let the Queen Sit First
Royals are all about manners and being prim and proper, and you, dining with the ever-influential, powerful, and gracious Queen Elizabeth, should abide by their rules. This is done by being respectful at all times and knowing the etiquettes.
The first rule is to let the ruler sit first before taking a seat yourself, which has always been followed, even at banquettes.
It’s a big no-no to take a seat when the Queen has yet to take hers. The key here is to always watch what she is doing and take a cue from her movements.
Eat When She’s Eating
In relation to the first rule, you should only eat after the Queen starts eating. This goes to say that everyone at the table must always watch what Queen Elizabeth is doing or else, others may end up breaking a serious royal protocol.
This also means that when she is done eating, you should put your fork down, too! It’s quite fascinating, if you think of it, although some may see it as odd. However, this rule highlights the importance and respect given to such a leader.
What about a Blunder?
What if you forgot the two golden rules or just carried away by the scrumptious spread in front of you? Will you be immediately escorted away? Hmm, maybe not.
According to Queen Elizabeth’s former butler Paul Burrell, there was one instance when a guest made a blunder in front of Her Royal Highness.
Specifically, this happened when she was hosting dinner for a prince on the Royal Yacht Britannica in the South Pacific.
It seemed that looking out for what the Queen was doing slipped from the prince’s mind when he started popping grapes and cherries into the finger bowl.
When the cream and sugar were served, he poured them in the bowl, which Burrell said appeared to be like a fruit bowl.
The butler, who was standing behind the Queen, was beyond shocked by what he saw. The prince was then about to raise the bowl and sip it when he looked at the lady and realized what he had done.
As elegant and calm as she is, instead of getting mad, the Queen mimicked his action and picked up her own bowl and sipped from it.
Other Royal Rules
There are plenty of other rules that might sound odd for us commoners, but they serve a purpose for the royal family.
For sure, there are some perks that come along with being a member of the royal family but there are a lot of protocols you need to abide by in order to fit in, and these are not just limited with dining with the Queen. So if in case you’re interested, here are some of them:
Queen Elizabeth has always been spotted in bright, colorful ensembles and there’s a reason for that: to make it easy for people to spot her in a crowd. Plus, her quirky fashion sense definitely suits her!
Meanwhile, she coined a rule that all royals must pack black clothes wherever they go, which could come in handy for mourning in case of a sudden death.
As for wedding gowns, these need approval from the Queen first. According to reports, brides have the freedom when it comes to the style but Her Royal Highness has the final say. Kate Middleton followed this tradition and showed her the Alexander McQueen custom gown weeks before she tied the knot with Prince William in 2011.