Queen Elizabeth’s Staff Follows Serious Protocol To Ensure She Does Not Get Poisoned

Queen Elizabeth has a crafty way to avoid getting poisoned at the dinner table. A new documentary called Secrets of the Royal Kitchen explores the ins and outs of Buckingham Palace’s kitchens, including the lengths royal staffers go to keep Elizabeth safe. Here’s a quick look at all the interesting elements that go into a state banquet with the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth eating
Queen Elizabeth | Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

How does Queen Elizabeth avoid poisoned food?

During state banquets, Her Majesty’s staff are required to follow a serious protocol to keep her safe – and the lengths they go for her safety might surprise you.

A personal chef at the palace prepares the dishes for all of the guests. According to the New York Post, Elizabeth’s staff members then chose a random plate for her in an effort to prevent someone from poisoning her food.

The only way someone would be able to poison Queen Elizabeth is if they contaminated all of the dishes. This tactic has paid off so far, though we couldn’t imagine why someone would want to poison the Queen.

“After everything is plated up, a page chooses at random one of the plates to be served to her majesty,” Emily Andrews, a correspondent for the royals, shared. “So if anyone did want to poison the monarch they’d have to poison the whole lot.”

The documentary also revealed that banquet guests are required to follow some strict rules while dining with  Elizabeth Queen.

This includes finishing their plates before Her Majesty is done eating. This is an old tradition that used to be more of an issue in the past as guests would race to finish their food. It is unclear if the palace requires visitors to follow this protocol or if they have gotten more flexible in recent years.

Inside Queen Elizabeth’s royal kitchen

There are, of course, plenty of other traditions guests are required to follow whenever they are eating with the Queen.

For starters, nobody sits down until Elizabeth has been seated. You also cannot start eating until she has taken her first bite.

Elizabeth also has a personal menu that has been crafted to her liking. She schedules her meals three days in advance to give the palace chef plenty of time to gather ingredients.

When picking her dining options, Elizabeth crosses out dishes she doesn’t like. She also crosses out entire pages whenever she has a royal event that evening and will not be dining in the palace.

As far as her food choices are concerned, Elizabeth has forbidden certain types of foods from entering the palace kitchens. Her Majesty is apparently not a big fan of onions, though she will tolerate a small portion of them in her meals.

She also cannot stand garlic and tends to stick to dishes that are traditional to Britain and France. If the chef wants to cook something new, Elizabeth looks over the entire ingredients list to determine if she wants to try it.

Queen Elizabeth’s palate is completely different from her husband, Prince Philip, who reportedly loves to try out different cuisines. Her favorite dish is reportedly a mixture of smoked trout, mackerel, and salmon.

Although she is less adventurous with food, Elizabeth is a big fan of chocolate, and who can blame her?

Queen Elizabeth enjoys this special privilege

Having a personal chef that prepares every meal is one of the best perks of being the Queen of England, but Her Majesty gets another benefit most people would only dream of having.

While drivers in the U.K. are required to take have a license to operate a moving vehicle, Elizabeth has never taken a driving test.

In fact, she is the only person in the U.K. who is permitted to drive around without carrying a license – not that anyone would ever pull her over. Even more surprising, Elizabeth doesn’t have to put a license plate on her vehicle.


Queen Elizabeth, of course, doesn’t drive around London too often, but she has been spotted cruising around her estates in Balmoral, Sandringham, and Windsor in past years.

Prince Philip, on the other hand, did take a driving test to attain a license. But with Phillip now in his 90s, he recently surrendered his license after wrecking his car at Sandringham. He still drives on private land, but his days behind the wheel in public places are clearly over.