The Queen’s strict rules at royal banquets – including a special request for Prince Charles

Royal banquets at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle are traditionally held for dignitaries such as foreign heads of state and the British aristocracy.

They are often filled with the best food and fascinating royal conversation.

Last year the Queen hosted a white tie dinner at Buckingham Palace for controversial US President Donald Trump.

Other notable recent banquets include one held for Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015 and to mark the 2017 visit of King Felipe VI of Spain.

But what does a banquet really involve? Daily Star Online takes a look at the Queen’s 20 Surprising Rules for Big Dinners, including everything from place settings to what to wear.



Banquets take six months to prepare and palace staff take three days to set the table

1. The Queen inspects the horseshoe-shaped table herself in the afternoon before the banquet, checking the preparations with the master of the house, Hello reports.

2. Banquets take six months to prepare and palace staff take three days to set the table

3. The napkins are folded in the shape of a Dutch hat and there are six glasses for each person – water, champagne toast, red and white wines, dessert wine and port.

4. Each place setting should be precisely spaced 18 inches apart – and staff use measuring sticks to make sure that’s the case



The dress code is formal dresses, often a white tie, and tiaras for the ladies as well as national dress

5. The queen’s footmen place each chair the same distance from the table and each glass is the same distance from the front edge of the table

6. Nineteen stations are set up around the table by a page, footman, sub butler and a butler

7. A traffic light system is used to coordinate the service of the courses.

8. Detailed diagrams illustrate service plans, and a list of special instructions is used to define dietary requirements and requests from royals and other guests.



The Buckingham Palace ballroom set up for a state banquet is pictured in London, July 25, 2008

9. Palace staff are requested to place a special cushion on prince charles ” sitting down to relieve her back pain and give her a bowl of olive oil instead of butter for her bread

ten . The dress code is formal dresses, often a white tie, and tiaras for the ladies as well as national dress

11. The royal family wear sashes and badges if they received them in recognition of royal service.

12 Speeches take place before dinner and are followed by toasts and the interpretation of national anthems.



The queen is known to be quick, and there is a rule that when the monarch finishes his meal, everyone should put down their knife and fork as well.

13. A string orchestra normally plays great tunes at the banquet.

14. Guests are advised to use the silverware outside the table before entering

15. The queen is known to eat fast, and there is a rule that when the monarch finishes his meal, everyone should put down their knife and fork as well.

16. It is customary for the guest of honor to sit to the Queen’s right, and she will speak to that person during the first course of dinner. The monarch will then chat with the person to their left when the next class arrives.

17. Guests should also never leave an event unless special permission has been granted and it is advisable to avoid any personal questions and stick to small discussions.

18. The rules state that the Queen cannot be touched and that no one should shake her hand unless she offers it.

19. Tea cups should be held by the top of the handle with thumb and forefinger and should only be drunk in one place, to avoid multiple lipstick marks

20. At the end of the banquet, 12 bagpipers walk around the room


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