Preparing dinner for the most famous woman on the planet would be a tough order for anyone, and the Queen's kitchen staff know it all too well.
Alongside having to ensure they make every dish to Her Majesty's liking, they also have to follow a series of strict procedures to be certain that she doesn't get poisoned.
It's no secret that palace staff go to great lengths to ensure Queen Elizabeth is safe at all times, and that includes every sitting at the dining table.
In particular, state banquets entail a whole list of rules which must be followed, and they're a lot more serious than just double checking a meal, or thoroughly cleaning a plate.
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For a state banquet, a personal chef at the palace prepares all of the meals for guests, and once each dish is complete staff then choose a plate at complete random to serve to Her Majesty.
By doing so, it makes it extremely difficult for anyone to attempt to poison the Queen – they would have to contaminate every single meal in order to carry out the malicious act.
This isn't the only procedure staff must follow however, and one is much more extreme.
The Queen's staff must x-ray all of the food at state banquets, to completely eradicate any possibility of Her Majesty being under threat.
Elizabeth's former chef Graham Tinsley previously revealed the extent staff go to the keep her safe during these events. In an interview with Hello!, 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".
There are also other traditional protocols those dining with the Queen must adhere to. No guest can take their seat before she does, and no one is to begin eating before Her Majesty either.
Each diner must finish their meal before her, however this tradition previously became an issue with guests as they were forced to rush their meals, therefore it's not known whether the palace have now relaxed this rule.
Away from state banquets, the Queen's staff are always under pressure to impress her with their cooking skills. She has a personal menu which is tailored to her culinary likes and dislikes, and her meals are scheduled up to three days in advance to ensure her personal chefs have all the right ingredients to hand.
Her Majesty personally selects her meals, and crosses out dishes she doesn't want on the list. When she has a royal event scheduled, she crosses out the entire page to alert staff that she won't be dining at the palace that evening.
The Queen is extremely vocal about her likes and dislikes when it comes to dining, and she is said to hate garlic, which is therefore forbidden from entering the royal kitchen. She isn't keen on onions, but will tolerate a small portion in her meals if she has to.
Elizabeth tends to favour traditional English and French dishes, and if her personal chef wishes to make a new meal she requests the entire list of ingredients involved in the dish beforehand, to determine whether she will like it or not.
Her late husband, Prince Philip, was said to be more adventurous with his palate, regularly enjoying a mixture of seafood, such as salmon, mackerel, and smoked trout.
One royal who also enjoyed a mixture of dishes was Princess Diana, who regularly tucked into healthy, meat-free meals.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously revealed how the Princess of Wales' culinary preferences led him to transform his cooking style. He cooked for the royals for 15 years, whipping up dishes for Her Majesty, Prince Philip, Diana, William and Harry.
Darren explained how while the Queen stuck to her planned meal list, Diana was more prone to request swaps and changes, having decided she fancied something different at the very last minute.
He revealed: "When I joined Princess Diana, she was patron of 119 different charities, working out at the gym three times a week, looking the best she ever did.
"She had conquered and confronted the bulimia and she said to me, "Darren, you take care of all the fat, and I'll take care of the carbs at the gym.
"My cooking changed – no more heavy creams and rich sauces. It was healthy eating, and the stuffed bell peppers was one of her favourites dishes she probably had two or three times a week."
She reportedly opted for a mainly meat-free diet, occasionally eating lamb but mainly sticking to dishes such as stuffed bell peppers and stuffed eggplant.
Darren also claimed the Princess of Wales made the kitchen a 'relaxed' place to work, as she regularly came and ate with staff, chatting away and exchanging stories with them.
He recalled: "If she was eating alone she'd often come and eat in the kitchen and come in while I was still cooking. It was so relaxed when she was in the kitchen, once she made me a coffee. It was so much more relaxed at Kensington Palace.
"She'd share a lot of stories with us. We did a menu book for Diana but she never stuck to it while the Queen was religious – whatever you stuck on the menu three days ahead she'd have."
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