Why King Charles III Coronation Celebration Meal Will Include a Parasitic Fish From the U.S.

Some traditions are made to be changed, but it appears that King Charles III’s coronation celebration won’t stray from the past. Charles’ has some particular dining habits, but his coronation celebration — whenever it happens — will hew close to history with a menu that includes an invasive parasitic fish from the United States.

King Charles III samples an oyster at the Whitstable Oyster Festival in 2013. Charles' coronation celebration will follow one longstanding royal tradition with a little help from an invasive parasitic fish in the U.S.
King Charles III samples an oyster | Danny Martindale/WireImage

King Charles’ diet and meal regimen is very strict

Charles’ swollen fingers raise concerns about his health from some royal watchers. Eating too many salty foods could cause swelling, but Charles’ diet doesn’t seem to be the culprit.

He prefers to skip lunch, but Charles consumes a healthy breakfast that includes fresh fruit, healthy grains, tea, and a boiled egg. Since he doesn’t eat lunch, Charles relies on some of his favorite snacks to get through the day until he can sit down for dinner.

It could take several months before Charles’ official crowning and coronation celebration, but it seems one traditional royal dish will be on the menu.

Charles’ coronation celebration will include a traditional lamprey pie with fish shipped from the U.S.

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Lampreys used to thrive in English waterways, but industrialization nearly wiped them out. It seems the fish migrated to the Great Lakes, where the parasitic invasive species decimated native fisheries.

Problem, meet solution.

Lamprey pies have been a staple of formal royal celebrations for centuries, but the fish in the dish remains a protected species in the United Kingdom, per the Joint Nature Conservation Commission. The JNCC added it to the list of priority fish in 2007.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which has provided its unwanted lampreys to England for major royal events, will do so again for Charles’ coronation celebration, as Yahoo reports. The last time the GLFC sent a batch of eel-like lampreys to England was for a 2015 ceremony celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s reign. 

King Henry might have died in England’s middle ages from eating too many lampreys. Gloucester used to be required to send a lamprey pie to the monarch every year, Yahoo writes. King Charles carefully follows his preferred diet, but it seems he’ll stick to royal tradition with the meal at his coronation celebration.

Who will be king after Charles?

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Charles took over as king as soon as Queen Elizabeth died, but his official coronation ceremony will take many months to plan. He hasn’t yet donned the crown or taken a bite of lamprey pie, but the line of royal succession to the throne after King Charles’ reign weaves across two generations, per the royal family website:

  1. William, Prince of Wales
  2. Prince George of Wales
  3. Princess Charlotte of Wales
  4. Prince Louis of Wales
  5. Harry, Duke of Sussex
  6. Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor
  7.  Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor

King Charles follows England’s longest-serving monarch, and his mother helped guide the U.K. into the 21st century. Will he put his stamp on the monarchy. Or will he hew closer to established traditions, as one royal staffer predicts? Time will tell what direction he goes, but serving a lamprey pie will be one of King Charles’ first acts when he receives the crown.

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