The special treatment the Queen's Christmas dinner will go through before she sees it

The Queen's ex-chef Graham Tinsley revealed the secrets behind Her Majesty's Christmas dinner

Queen Elizabeth II and Barack Obama at a state banquet
(Image credit: Lewis Whyld - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen's ex-chef Graham Tinsley has revealed that food has to be x-rayed as part of security protocol at state banquets.

  • The Queen’s food is x-rayed as part of security protocols for state banquets.
  • Graham Tinsley, MBE, former royal chef and manager of the Welsh Culinary Team revealed the surprising secrets.
  • In other royal news, the Queen will attend Remembrance Day service following illness.

It’s been a week for surprising revelations about the dining customs and curiosities of the royal family.

First, it was discovered why the Queen weighs her guests at Christmas and now her former chef has revealed the extreme security protocols that happen before a state banquet.

Queen Elizabeth II inspecting state banquet table

(Image credit: Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

Speaking to HELLO!, former royal chef Graham Tinsley explained how security is always taken up a notch ahead of a state banquet when it comes to food preparations.

Graham revealed that a satellite kitchen was usually set up in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle for royal engagements in Wales and food would then be delivered to the hall by foot.

However, this all changed for more important banquets and events.

 As well as catering staff being given a police escort to the premises, Graham explained, "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."

Queen Elizabeth II and heads of state at a state banquet

(Image credit: Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images)

While state banquet menus are always elaborate affairs, the royals sit down to a relatively normal Christmas lunch. 

Various sources state that, once seated, the family—which normally includes the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton and the children and more—tuck into a turkey dinner. 

Later in the day, it's thought that the family will all have a walk around the grounds of Sandringham estate before enjoying a candlelit dinner in the evening.

Even the Queen's famous corgis are spoiled at Christmas too, as they get served the freshest local produce.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady said in an interview, "Even the corgis—there were 12 when I was chef—have individual menus, usually involving a rotation of fresh rabbit, beef or chicken with rice and cabbage."

The Royal Family at Christmas

(Image credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

However, it’s not all pomp and ceremony for the royals.

In an interview with Marie Claire, ex-royal staffer Darren indicated that Her Majesty can be quite down to earth.

Darren revealed, "People always say, 'oh, the Queen must eat off gold plates with gold knives and forks… but at Balmoral she’d eat fruit from a plastic yellow Tupperware container."

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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