30 SEPTEMBER 2003
Ever wondered how kings and queens behave at the dinner table? Now, thanks to a fascinating new tour available at Windsor Castle, you can find out about royal eating habits over the last eight centuries, and take a look round the Castle’s recently restored Great Kitchen.
Interesting titbits include the fact that Henry VIII, who started out as a tall, slim young man, developed his impressive bulk by scoffing a diet that was 75% meat and regaling himself with huge quantities of wine. Queen Elizabeth I’s food underwent an elaborate tasting ceremony, complete with musical accompaniment, before it reached her lips.
And Queen Victoria ate so fast that visiting dignitaries were hard put to enjoy their own portions before the course in front of them was swept away, as protocol demanded that their plates be cleared as soon as the queen had finished.
Just a few of the tasty morsels of information served up during the tour, which takes visitors round the Great Kitchen, severely damaged during the 1992 fire at the Castle, and the current Queen’s modern kitchen.
The tour includes a talk on royal eating habits through the ages. “We know exactly what each royal ate every single day from the early 16th century right through to the early 19th because of the daily ‘Bill of Fayre’ which was an official record of their menus,” explains a spokesperson.