Queen’s banquets follow ‘really tight’ security rules as staff require police escort

Queen and Queen Mother mocked over picture by Dunlop

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Former Royal Chef Graham Tinsley, who is a member of the Welsh Culinary Team, shared some of the protocols that staff had to follow when the Queen was dining with another Head of State. Mr Tinsley told Hello that for banquets in Wales a satellite kitchen would be set up and the food would be transferred by foot.

He said: “For higher calibre banquets, we’re required to put all our food, containers, knives and kitchen equipment through an X-ray machine whilst motorcycles then drove us into the castle.”

Mr Tinsley also revealed that if they were catering for a banquet involving heads of state a police escort was required.

He said: “All the catering staff have to meet at a police station and get a motorcycle ride into Cardiff Castle.”

However, these extreme measures were only needed if heads of state were attending.

He said: “If we were just cooking for the Royal Family, we weren’t always aware of the security.

“It only changed if there were heads of state coming over, and then the security was really, really tight.”

According to former Buckingham Palace Chef Darren McGrady, the Queen is much more laid back if she isn’t hosting a banquet.

Mr McGrady, who cooked for the monarch for 15 years, discussed some of the monarch’s eating habits in an interview with Marie Claire. 

He said: “People always say, ‘oh, the Queen must eat off gold plates with gold knives and forks.

“Yes, sometimes… but at Balmoral, she’d eat fruit from a plastic yellow Tupperware container.”

Mr McGrady also revealed how Her Majesty decides what she’d like to eat.

He said: “The chef does three days’ menus and that gives us enough time to get all the produce in and prepare it. 

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“When the menu book goes up to the Queen she puts a line through all the dishes she doesn’t want.

“If she’s out for dinner she’ll put a line through the page and if she has a guest coming she’ll put two or three, so we know she is entertaining.”

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