Thursday, February 1, 2018

Etiquette of a Royal Palate

 There is no worthier accomplishment for a man with a moustache than to take soup in an inoffensive manner… and by no means should the moustache be used to strain the soup.” Cornelia Dobbs’ 1908 “Guide to Manners” 

You wouldn't believe it from those fierce mustaches of his, but King Humberto of Italy has so great an affection for custards, and very sweet ones at that, that he would get up in the night to partake of one. To vary the custard eaten by ordinary mortals, however, this Royal personage has his flavored with tea.


Dishes That Kings and Queens are Fond Of ...

The saying “fit to set before a King” has rather lost its significance in these days when everybody knows what everybody else does, and when no two, be they Kings or commoners, do any one thing alike. It is safe to say, however, that Royalty, like the rest of human beings lives as “high” as circumstances will permit till dread indigestion waits on their appetites and makes life miserable for them. Queen Victoria, in her earlier years, though perhaps not being strictly speaking a gourmet, was fond of good things and plenty of them, but of late she has had to shade down both quality and quantity, till she is almost on the verge of being a vegetarian. 

The Prince of Wales probably has the art of dining down as fine as any gentleman, titled or otherwise, in the world. What he doesn't know about dining and the like isn't worth knowing. The Kaiser also knows palatable dishes when he sees them, though he hasn't the respect amounting to reverence that characterizes his uncle, Albert Edward, for a properly cooked and served dinner. Germany’s ruler cares for game, feathered game, more than for any other viand, affecting a special fondness for salmi or stew made of thrushes. Another Royal example of ability to recognize a good thing is furnished by the Czar of Russia, who is just disloyal enough to his country to confess publicly a preference for French cooking; this, however, doesn't say that he does not care for Russian cooking. In fact, it is said that a happy combination of French and Russian manners and methods is what tickles the palate of the Czar of all the Russias beyond expression. 

You wouldn't believe it from those fierce mustaches of his, but King Humbert of Italy has so great an affection for custards, and very sweet ones at that, that he would get up in the night to partake of one. To vary the custard eaten by ordinary mortals, however, this Royal personage has his flavored with tea. Queen Wllhelmina has an appetite that would do credit to any peasant in her domain, and no finicky things for her, if you please. She will have roast beef, mutton and fillet of beef and rump steak as her regular diet, and at her feasts on great occasions, also, if she can have her own way. Another Queen who goes in for roast beef is Christina, Regent of Spain. It isn't that she is over fond of this diet herself, but she believes firmly in its strength producing virtues, and she in this way sets her young son an example, for the young King needs considerable toning up by way of diet. All of which goes to show that royalties don't dine every day from nightingales’ tongues and the like, even though they might, nor upon any other, impossible viand.—Epicure, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia