The Queen’s bizarre sandwich rule to avoid being ‘overthrown’

It's claimed the Queen's sandwich rule was inspired by a long-held tradition...

Queen's sandwich rules revealed, seen here during a visit to the National Institute of Agricultural Botany
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The Queen reportedly followed a rather bizarre rule when it comes to her Afternoon Tea sandwiches according to a former royal chef. 


Whilst some royal fans might just be fascinated by the matter of what the Queen eats, it seems the way she eats certain foods is sometimes just as intriguing. According to OK! Magazine (opens in new tab), back in 2018, former royal chef Graham Newbould opened up on the Channel 5 documentary, Secrets of the Royal Kitchen, about the Queen’s surprising sandwich preferences. And it seems that square sandwiches were out of the question for Her Majesty whilst he was working for her! 

Graham is understood to have explained the monarch was served small “jam penny sandwiches” for Afternoon Tea instead of sandwiches with “points” due to a very unusual tradition. 

He claimed, “The royals never have square sandwiches because tradition has it that anyone presenting them with pointed-edged food is trying to overthrow the throne of England.”

Queen Elizabeth II Meeting Pensioners In A Marquee Where Tea And Scones Were Served

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

For many people the dainty sandwiches are a highlight of Afternoon Tea and the Queen hasn’t officially confirmed this sandwich rule herself. Though if the monarch does indeed avoid square sandwiches and other “pointed-edged” foods in line with this tradition, it certainly casts her meal preferences in an intriguing new light.  

Though this apparently isn’t the only possible tradition that inspired the round sandwiches served to the Queen at home in royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. As reported by OK!, Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria, believed that eating coffin-shaped foods was unlucky. 

But whilst the Queen reportedly didn’t tuck into any pointy food during Graham’s time as a royal chef, this isn’t the only bizarre food habit she’s believed to have. Reports have previously claimed that the Queen eats hamburgers in an unusual way and there’s a very clever reason she’s never revealed her favorite meal

Whilst it’s believed that the Queen’s palace staff’s ingenuous trick helps to keep the monarch safe from any potential attempts to poison her. Also speaking on Secrets of the Royal Kitchen, royal commentator Emily Andrews shared that Her Majesty isn’t ever served a specific plate at huge state occasions.   

"After everything is plated up, a page chooses at random one of the plates to be served to Her Majesty. So if anyone did want to poison the monarch they’d have to poison the whole lot,” she declared.

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.