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Prince William and Prince Harry are all grown up now, but there was a time when the two brothers were just children following the rules of their parents (and the monarchy). A royal expert revealed that there was one household mandate Harry and William were never allowed to break. Here’s what the Dukes weren’t allowed to do and how they bent the rules. 

Prince William and Prince Harry, who followed strict rules as children in the palace, walk together.
Prince William and Prince Harry | Yui Mok/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William, Prince Harry, and their spouses must follow strict dining rules at the palace

As members of the royal family, Prince Harry and Prince William (as well as their spouses, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle) are expected to follow specific protocols while dining with the Queen. But according to the South China Morning Post, Harry and Meghan can’t seem to keep themselves from breaking the rules

Royal insider Stefanie Jones claimed that, even before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began distancing themselves from the rest of the royal family, they found themselves excluded from dinner functions due to their disregard for royal dining etiquette. 

Specifically, Harry and Meghan eschewed traditional seating plans in favor of sitting next to each other, breaking the long-standing rule of mixing couples around the table to encourage conversation. Meghan and Harry also committed the faux pas of showing affection at the dinner table. 

Another royal dining etiquette rule is that guests, including members of the monarchy like Prince Harry and Prince William, are to wait until the Queen lifts her fork to begin eating. They must also finish their food at the same time as the Queen. Dinner conversations should avoid certain topics, including sex, money, and religion. 

While Harry found a way around some of the dining etiquette, there was one household rule related to food that he and Prince William were never allowed to break as children in the palace. 

Prince William and Prince Harry were ‘never allowed’ to break this household rule

Former royal chef Darren McGrady worked for Queen Elizabeth for 11 years at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral. He also worked at Kensington Palace for several years, where he cooked for Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry.

Speaking on behalf of Coffee Friend, McGrady revealed the one dining rule that William and Harry were “never allowed” to break. He was asked if there were any late-night food orders at the Palace, whether he was working for the Queen or Princess Diana. 

“We never did any late orders at all!” McGrady shared. “At Buckingham Palace I lived above the kitchen in the chef quarters and nobody ever came and knocked on the door and said, ‘the Queen wants a club sandwich.’”

He added, “Nor Wills and Harry, for that matter – they were never allowed to summon the chef to make something in the middle of the night.”


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The royal brothers’ love of sweets caused tension in the palace

As children, Prince William and Prince Harry weren’t allowed to order food in the middle of the night, but they still managed to satisfy their cravings for sweets. In fact, their love of dessert foods created some tension in the palace. 

Chef McGrady told Bustle in 2017 (on behalf of Coffee Friend) that the Dukes were quite fond of banana flan and ice cream when they were younger. William also loved the chocolate biscuit cake, which was a favorite of the Queen, as well. He said the boys’ sweet tooth became a source of contention between the royal nanny and the palace kitchen.

“There was a constant battle going on with nanny in the nursery over how much dessert puddings the boys were eating,” McGrady said. “She would say, ‘No, they should be eating healthy food!’ That is the job of a royal nanny, I suppose.”