The Strange Rules Guests Must Follow When Dining With Queen Elizabeth

It wouldn't be dinner with the Queen without a long list of protocols and rules to follow. Much like the etiquette the royals and their counterparts are expected to follow in public, the royal dinner rules are no exception. Whether her guests are politicians, foreign leaders, or friends, the Queen dictates what happens at her table with no questions asked. Lucky guests at the Queen's table get to interact with Her Majesty once they understand the rules, of course. If you've ever seen the movie, The Queen, you know what we're talking about. 

Watching what the Queen does and following her lead can make or break your dining experience. The first rule to know is that no one may sit before the Queen. Her Majesty eats first and the rest of the dining party stops eating once she's full (via Express). Mirroring the Queen's every move when seated at the table is the best way to go, even down to using the same utensils as the monarch herself.

Queen Elizabeth is forgiving of any faux pas

Make no mistake — eating before the Queen or when the Queen isn't seated are very large faux pas. Luckily, the Queen doesn't seem to take too much offense to occasional slip-ups. Former butler, Paul Burrell details an instance when a dinner guest dug into his dessert before Her Majesty.

Burrell wrote for The Guardian, "I was once on the Royal Yacht Britannia in the South Pacific and the Queen was hosting a dinner for a local prince." He continued, "Dessert was served. The prince forgot to watch what the Queen did — instead, he popped the grapes into his finger bowl, then some cherries, then when the cream and sugar came out, he poured them in too, making a kind of fruit soup. I was standing behind the Queen looking horrified ... Not wanting to make him feel awkward, she picked up her finger bowl and took a sip. Now that's class."

The Queen's rules may seem tedious and outdated, but the likes of former presidents and leaders have followed them out of respect. All guests have to do is follow her lead, wait for her to sit, and share her famous Windsor smile.