And while the Queen has imposed some of her own rules – including banning this food from the Buckingham Palace kitchen and bringing her own teabags wherever she goes – there’s one thing that all guests must do when they dine with the monarch.
Not only must fellow diners wait for the Queen to take her seat before they do, but those at the dinner table must also watch her movements and copy accordingly. This means, for example, that when the Queen stops eating her guests must also do the same. And that includes her family members, too.
Former royal butler Paul Burrell told The Guardian that the strict royal rule has been broken before, explaining: ‘I was once on the Royal Yacht Britannia in the South Pacific and the Queen was hosting a dinner for a local prince.
‘Dessert was served. The prince forgot to watch what the Queen did – instead, he popped the grapes into his finger bowl, then some cherries, then when the cream and sugar came out, he poured them in too, making a kind of fruit soup.
‘I was standing behind the Queen looking horrified. He was about to raise the bowl to his lips to drink it when he looked at the Queen and realised he had made a terrible mistake.’
So if you ever find yourself having dinner with the monarch, remember how it’s done!