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Royal Family ‘likes to drink’ too – etiquette expert recalls one ‘so tittled’ royal


William Hanson is a British etiquette coach and expert who has studied the Royal Family for years and knows the ins and outs of their etiquette practices. He spoke to Express.co.uk about his favourite royal party anecdotes.

The royals enjoy a garden party as much as the average Briton and have held many in the past as a family.

William explained that when Prince William and Prince Harry were children, the Royal Family “would have done teas, particularly in Balmoral in the summer”.

“There would have been afternoon tea outside, often with ice cream served for the children,” he said.

“It’s a good way for all the family to be together. From all generations.”

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William went on to say that a lot of tea would be served at these parties, but also Champagne.

Even the royals enjoy a good tipple from time to time.

The etiquette expert recalled his favourite anecdote, saying: “The late Queen Mother liked to drink.

“She loved food and drink, and supposedly she’d been at some lunch that went on very, very late, and was being driven back up to Clarence House in her car.

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“And obviously being a royal car, and with all the security, it was quite obvious it was the Queen Mother.

“And as people do, the public were waving along the Mall as she drove up, and the Queen Mother, being very generous, was waving back.

“But she was so tittled, that she was slipping slowly down the seat, and just disappeared, and fell on the floor.”

William explained this story is published in a royal biography, and is “just a lovely story”.

The etiquette expert went on to explain that the Queen herself enjoys a drink once in a while too.

“Her Majesty’s favourite alcoholic drinks are Champagne, and gin and Dubonnet – but she only has this [the latter] at lunch time.

“She used to have it in the evening as well, but it’s too strong now for her.

“That’s one part gin two parts Dubonnet with ice and a slice of lemon.”

As for food at royal garden parties, William explained there would usually be sandwiches, scones, and cakes.

Pork pies are also popular at both royal and non-royal garden parties as they are easy to eat with one’s fingers.

William added that “they have afternoon tea every day in the royal household, and it’s at five o’clock”.

This is a “slightly smaller affair and less gluttonous than the sort you see in hotels, which are delicious, but of course if the Royal Family were having that every day, they would be huge”.

“And so it’s a more pared down affair, which is normally very very small square sandwiches, normally cucumber or ham, and then scones and maybe another cake,” William said.

“Often a Victoria sponge cake at this time of year.”



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