Being a part of the royal family undoubtedly comes with its perks, but one of them, it turns out, is not eating whatever one wants.
That’s because there is a strict set of dietary guidelines in place for members of the royal family when travelling abroad, particularly on royal tours. One food group that is an absolute no-no apparently is shellfish, thanks to its links to food poisoning.
When you consume a raw oyster, for example, you run the risk of ingesting dangerous bacteria such as Vibrio, which can cause an illness called vibriosis. As recently as last year there were reports that some Pacific oysters were infected with Ostreid herpesvirus 1, which could be passed on to humans after eating.
There is likely nothing worse than having to fulfil a public engagement on behalf of the Queen and then needing to excuse yourself for feeling unwell.
Oysters, clams and cockles aren’t the only banned foods though: there is also a ban in place on raw meat and tap water, which can also be linked to illnesses associated with bacteria. Indeed, Princess Margaret reportedly went her entire life without tasting tap water, always insisting on bottled water. In her biography by Craig Brown, she claims to have no knowledge of what tap water even is.
In addition, the Queen also reportedly steers clear of spicy foods, and doesn’t like pasta with messy tomato sauce or too much garlic.
Whether or not the royals enjoy tap water, beef tartare and oysters in the privacy of their own homes and on private holidays stands to be seen, but we do love the idea of the Queen nipping to the bathroom sink to fill up a glass during the night.