One of the most iconic images to have come out of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer is of Her Majesty enjoying tea and marmalade sandwiches with Paddington Bear.

How marvellous that the crowds gathered outside the windows of Buckingham Palace on that balmy summer evening could get an insight into the Queen’s personal space and learn the very special fact that she, too, always carried a spare marmalade sandwich in her handbag.

Nothing could have captured the nation’s imagination more than these two favourite characters, who have both played such starring roles in everyone’s lives for seventy years, enjoying a civilised cup of tea.

Enduring intrigue surrounding a private family home

It is these humorous snippets that help to maintain the Royal Family’s eternal appeal on a global scale, why Buckingham Palace still maintains a sense of intrigue and mystery in the monarch’s personal life, and why trips to see Buckingham Palace will always be high on the agenda for London visitors.

Interest in the British Royal Family will never wane – the comings and goings of Britain’s first family will continue to fuel the country’s tourist trails for decades, if not centuries, to come. As custodians of the UK’s many beautiful and historic buildings, these individuals will always maintain a sense of curiosity that fuels intrigue and fascination.

A life less ordinary

And it is the very ‘ordinariness’ of these people that is of greatest interest, often more so than their lofty titles and great achievements. Is it not more interesting to know what the Queen likes to eat for breakfast than it is to know which titles are still relevant across the commonwealth?

Much has been written about the Queen’s eating habits. For example, she reportedly has four meals a day but only eats small portions. Do remember as well that Her Majesty is now well into her nineties, and the older you get, the less food you find you require to function.


Banging the Tupperware drum

Breakfast is a low-key affair – a simple bowl of cereal that she infamously keeps fresh in Tupperware boxes. So, as you wander past the gates of Buckingham Palace on your way to see the Changing of the Guards, you can imagine how the Queen must have enjoyed her bowl of cornflakes that morning, looking out of the window over the Mall, and popping the lid back onto the Tupperware box to keep it fresh. In light of the fact that the Queen is allegedly extremely frugal, you can probably imagine that those boxes are probably several decades old now!

Lunch is a simple affair – a bit of grilled fish or chicken, with salad or vegetables. Though, Friday lunchtime was sacrosanct for a fish and chip lunch – not just for the Queen, but for all 300 staff.

Jam first then cream – by Royal command!

Afternoon tea is probably the most controversial of meals that the Queen enjoys. No matter where in the world she is, her personal chefs were instructed to make fresh scones for her afternoon tea, and – drum roll – the Queen always puts the jam on first, then the cream. There may be some who are upset by that – but therein lies Royal protocol!

Potted shrimps on toast

Faced with often excessive banquets and foods cooked by the finest chefs, sometimes it is the simpler foods that the Queen craved. One of these was Morecambe Bay potted shrimps on toast. The shrimps were marinated in a special butter which, when spread on warm toast, would melt the butter.

She also enjoyed a ‘Croque Monsieur – the French version of cheese on toast made with melted gruyere cheese, ham, and whipped eggs.


It’s a NO! to garlic

One food the Queen will not touch is garlic – despite her husband Prince Philip loving it! Allegedly she believed that it was not good form to eat garlic when you were meeting Heads of State as it was considered rude to breathe garlic all over them during their conversations.

She was also disciplined about which carbohydrates she ate, avoiding rice, potatoes, and pasta if she were dining on her own. Whenever she ate sandwiches, the crusts were always cut off.

Though the gains she may have made by eating low carb, were offset by a particularly sweet tooth – the Queen is known as a bit of a chocoholic.

Satisfy your curiosity about Buckingham Palace, its traditions, and its famous residents on our Westminster and Changing of the Guard tour. Click here to find out more and book tickets.


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