Queen Elizabeth II is known for having a sense of humour, with the monarch often finding the time to inject comedy into otherwise serious occasions.
The same is true even in shocking instances, such as upon the discovery of a dead slug on her dinner plate, according to her former royal servant, who recalled the 95-year-old Queen’s amusing response to finding the animal.
Charles Oliver, the Queen’s former royal servant, recounted the tale in his book Dinner at Buckingham Palace, in which he first noted that the royal and her late husband Prince Philip typically dined alongside notepads, which they could use to jot down notes about their meals that would then be sent back to the kitchen.
According to Oliver, the nearby notebook came in handy when the Queen reportedly discovered a slug in her salad, at which point she decided to send a note to the royal chefs.
“Once, on a torn-off top sheet the footmen found the dead body of a slug,” Oliver wrote in the book, adding that the monarch had written: “I found this in the salad – could you eat it?” next to the animal’s body.
The incident was later recounted by British culture researcher Bryan Kozlowski, who also described the “odd moment” the Queen found the animal in his book Long Live The Queen: 23 Rules for Living from Britain’s Longest-Reigning Monarch, according to Cosmopolitan.
Apart from the memorable moment, Oliver claimed that, for the most part, the Queen’s notepad remains blank as she is “not fussy about food”.
However, he did note that Queen Elizabeth does employ the use of the pad when entertaining guests for meals, as it allows her to easily jot down notes about any culinary likes and dislikes from her guests so the kitchen staff can use them as reference in the future.
“The Queen will make a discreet note for future reference,” he wrote. “This is duly recorded by the kitchen and remembered, should the guest come again.”
Apart from the rare slug, the Queen typically likes to eat relatively simple meals, with her breakfast reportedly consisting of a “simple cup of tea and biscuits, followed by a bowl of cereal,” according to royal biographer, Katie Nicholl, while lunch often includes grilled fish with wilted spinach or courgettes, according to the Queen’s former chef Darren McGrady.