Kate Middleton eats conch meat as crowd cheers

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Kate Middleton, the Princess of Wales, is known to be adventurous in the kitchen and reportedly counts sushi among her favourite foods. But one food Princess Kate is forbidden from eating while travelling abroad is shellfish.

The 40-year-old royal once broke this strict rule during her royal tour of Canada with her husband Prince William in 2016. Never afraid to try new dishes, Kate tasted thinly sliced wild geoduck sashimi, garnished with Miso Mustard Sauce.

“There is a slightly firmer texture to this,” Kate said of the large saltwater clam. “It’s really unusual. I’ve never seen it before. It’s so fresh from the sea.” Senior royals including King Charles and the late Queen have reportedly all been advised against eating shellfish due to its risk of carrying a foodborne illness.

The family is also advised to avoid rare meat, and overly exotic or spicy dishes, not to mention drinking tap water while travelling to a foreign country, all as preventative measures to avoid illness and food poisoning.

There have been plenty of times when Kate has been filmed trying quite unusual dishes for a royal to eat. When in the Bahamas earlier this year, Kate was filmed breaking the royal food rule of no shellfish when eating a strange local delicacy.

The Bahamas dish was known as the “conch’s male genitalia”, which Kate bravely ate as a stunned Prince William looked on.

Following a visit to the Abaco Islands to see the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, the then-Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s activities hit a lighter note with a taste test of local foods.

Sampling local delights, the Princess did not baulk when she swallowed a “strip of flesh” from the inside of a conch, believed to be “the conch’s male genitalia”.

Daily Mail Royal Editor Rebecca English tweeted the video, commenting: “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a fish fry today with Kate trying local delicacy ‘conch pistol’ – said to have the same effect as viagra.”

In the video, Kate could be heard saying: “I’m a little bit more adventurous than William is,” to which her husband responded: “I can handle it.”

The couple also sampled a conch salad and fritters, while William drank a ‘Gullywash’, which is coconut juice mixed with condensed milk. Showing his approval, he laughed: “You guys talk amongst yourself I’m staying here.”

The Princess of Wales even stepped up to prepare a dish for herself. She moved behind the counter at the Fish Fry in Dundas Town, Abaco, as stall owner Jade Adderley monitored her progress. She joked to him: “I’m not as fast as you!”

Kate and William are not the only royals to bend the rules, however, since the new monarch himself is said to enjoy eating shellfish on occasion.

The Princess, who is a mother to children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four, has an adventurous palette, enjoying strong flavours and exotic dishes as well as her go-to family staples.

She often enjoys quintessentially British favourites for dinner, including a juicy roast chicken with all the trimmings. The royal also loves spending quality time cooking with her children, making pizza, pasta and baking cakes.

There are plenty of food items that are not allowed when it comes to cooking for the royals, with one of the most well-reported ones being garlic when cooking for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Camilla, the Queen Consort once revealed on Australian MasterChef that when on official engagements, nothing with too much garlic is ever served: “Garlic is a no-no… You always have to lay off the garlic.”

This was confirmed by former royal chef Darren McGrady, who revealed that palace chefs are forbidden from serving food containing too much onion or garlic.

There are also rules about how to eat food within the royal household, according to etiquette expert William Hanson. “Traditionally, cutlery is held with the knife in the right hand, and the fork in the left, a rule that dates back to when men would carry their swords and daggers in their right hand,” he previously told Coffee Friend.

“Mercifully, we now know this to be a load of rubbish and so it is perfectly acceptable to switch the cutlery (fork in right hand, knife in left) but the cutlery is still held in the same manner: the index finger goes down the fork, stopping before the bridge.  

“For knives, the index finger also extends down the knife, stopping where the blade and handle meet. As so much royal duty involves soft diplomacy over dinners, having control over their cutlery (and food) is an essential part of their toolbox.”

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