The Queen's surprisingly bad manners at the table revealed by former Royal Footman

Her Majesty is said to break the rules in this unlikely way when it comes to attending shooting lunches.

The Queen's surprisingly bad manners
(Image credit: Getty)

The Queen has a surprisingly bad manner when it comes to eating during shooting lunches, says one of her former Royal footmen.

The Queen has some surprisingly bad manners at the table, claims a former Royal Footman.

It's no secret that the Queen won't allow mobile phones at the dinner table and she's known to have a morbid rule when it comes to eating sandwiches, but she is also known to break the rules.

Steven Kaye worked for the Queen for three years and during his time in service, he witnessed the Queen's surprisingly bad table etiquette when it came to attending shooting lunches.

He reveals to Slingo, just what her Majesty was like behind closed doors, and explained, "What I found interesting is that she sat with her elbows on the table as she was eating. I just didn’t expect that. 

“You’ve always had that etiquette rule, ‘elbows off the table’, but if it’s good enough for the Queen, then it’s good enough for all of us. 

"I think it’s her way of making her guests feel relaxed. She’d always sit there and pick at the food with her elbows on the table. But she would never do that at a state banquet, obviously.”

The Queen

(Image credit: Getty)

Mr Kaye revealed that Her Majesty's table manners were only relaxed during the shooting lunches at Sandringham in a "very large log cabin" he added, "So we’d have to get the fire going, lay the food out, put the bar up and make sure everything was perfect."

And if having her elbows on the table while she was eating isn't enough to surprise you, the Queen once went missing during a shoot - only to turn up hours later when the sniffer dogs had arrived.

He recalled, "Once we thought the Queen had gone back to the house for lunch because it was ready for one o’clock, but there was no Queen [at the cabin]. Two o’clock arrives, three o’clock arrives, no Queen. 

“Me and my colleague footmen - there’s always this unwritten rule that you’re allowed to have a drink on duty as long as you don’t take it too far - we’d had a couple of beers waiting for them and the sniffer dogs finally arrive about 4pm and it’s getting dark."

But the search was called off when the monarch "walks in, she has a pheasant in one hand and a gun in the other"

Mr Kaye described how she puts them in the corner and put the dogs in this pen.

and added, "I’ve made her a gin and dubonnet - it’s one part gin, two parts dubonnet and an ice and a slice, she’d always have one of those at five o’clock."

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.