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Why the Queen and the Entire Royal Family Won’t Eat Shellfish

It may look like the British royal family has it all, but there’s one thing you can enjoy day in and day out that the Windsors are banned from ever touching: shellfish.

The entire royal family is advised to never dig into a lobster, enjoy mussels fra diavolo, or imbibe in even a lowly shrimp cocktail because of its high risk of foodborne illness, BBC previously reported. And with their hectic worldwide travel schedule a case of food poisoning could wreak havoc on the royals, their support staff and their country hosts.

Beyond shellfish, the royals are also advised to avoid rare meats and tap water while traveling abroad to avoid any potential hazards.

And while avoiding shellfish doesn’t seem that bad, the family must also avoid garlic, though only in the Queen’s presence. The ban on garlic has nothing to do with safety, but rather preference, as the Queen herself reportedly hates the taste.

“At Buckingham Palace you don’t cook with garlic,” John Higgins, a former palace chef, told the National Post. “I suppose in case you get the royal burp.”

And if you happen to dine with the Queen at dinner you can bet it will be a healthy meal.

Darren McGrady, another former palace chef, revealed to The Telegraph that the Queen has a no starch rule at dinnertime. “No potatoes, rice or pasta for dinner. Just usually something like grilled sole with vegetables and salad,” he said.

And like the Queen, her pets follow a strict diet, too. McGrady shared with The Telegraph that he once fed her famous corgis a meal of finely chopped simmered rabbit and chicken, while her horses get perfectly chopped carrots as a snack.

“Each one had to be finger-length and peeled to perfection,” McGrady said. “If ever a horse bit the Queen’s finger, it was the chef’s fault for cutting them too short.”

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