Dining etiquette we can learn from the Royal family

Morning Talk 20/03/2018
Photo: Getty.

In the 65 years Queen Elizabeth II has been Queen, the world has changed dramatically. The Royal family has often adapted to that change, sometimes quickly, as with the death of Princess Diana and other times, very slowly.

Through all of that change, the Royal family has always been anchored in tradition, and etiquette is very much a part of that equation.

Annabelle White joined Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to discuss the etiquette lessons that we can learn from the royals.

Ms White, a food writer in New Zealand, explained that many royal dining habits may come across as highly unrealistic for the average Kiwi.

“I do respect the Royal family,” she said. “But I do think it’s important to see a little bit more of a realistic approach to this type of thing.  

Nevertheless, she shared that guests of the Royal family must wait to eat until the most important person has begun their meal. Such etiquette can be applied to special occasions for non-royals, like at a party or a wedding.

Equally, when they finish eating, you’ve got to stop as well.

“You’re only hope is that they’re slow eaters,” she said. 

According to Ms White, 1974 saw Princess Anne pick up a chicken drumstick with one hand, making it acceptable for the other guests.

“By royal decree, everyone is okay to pick up a piece of meat on the bone, as long as you use one hand.”

But the etiquette expert warns not to go in with two hands because “you’ll look like a caveman”.

Listen to the full interview with Annabelle White above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.