As a member of the British royal family, you’d think Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, would have the world at her fingertips. However, she may be learning that generations of tradition also come with some pretty restrictive rules surrounding etiquette, and for the self-described foodie, here’s one that may be tough to swallow: The royal family is reportedly not allowed to eat garlic while traveling.
Queen Elizabeth’s distaste for garlic has been public knowledge for quite some time. “We can never serve anything with garlic or too much onions,” royal chef Darren McGrady has said previously. “The Queen would never have garlic on the menu.”
But queenly preferences aside, the U.K.’s Express suggests that Markle isn’t simply kowtowing to her grandmother-in-law’s tastes: Instead, the royal family avoids garlic on the road for a more practical purpose — to avoid bad breath. The paper says the monarchy follows a similar rule in regard to eating shellfish during official visits for an equally pragmatic reason: to be assured that food poisoning doesn’t put a dent in their plans.
Express does point out that Markle, who has reportedly shown an affinity for cooking with garlic herself in the past, is allowed to eat whatever she wants in private. Still, if joining the royal family doesn’t leave you with the authority to eat garlic by the clove-full, then what the heck is the point of having nominal control over Sussex to begin with?
Meanwhile, back in April, it was reported that the then-princess-to-be even had to practice drinking tea properly before meeting with the queen to make sure she didn’t break any etiquette rules while holding her teacup. (Seriously, aren’t there any eligible princes out there whose grandmas who don't have so many rules?) When it comes to etiquette, there's definitely a steep learning curve for new royals, but avoiding garlic might be one of the hardest rules to follow.