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Preparing For A Royal Visit

Added 739 days ago. 18 October 2019

"We've been expecting you."
Fans of Downton Abbey who have seen the new film will already be well versed on Royal etiquette, but just how accurate were the Crawley’s preparations? Here’s what to expect if the Queen ever comes to tea…


Securing the ground

The Queen’s Downton visit was something of a surprise, but a true Royal visit would be arranged well in advance. 1 month before Her Majesty’s arrival, her staff would visit to start preparations, accompanied by a special division from the Metropolitan Police. Nothing is left to chance!

Briefing the chef

The Master of the Household would be round to tell the chefs not to cook anything with too much garlic or spice, and absolutely no shellfish. Bad breath and food poisoning must be avoided.

Did you know?

The Queen has many advisors, from stylists who help her with her wardrobe, to the advisory committee helping her pick winners of her Queen’s Awards. At Wiltshire Farm Foods, we’re lucky enough to have been selected for this award three times, including our recent win in April for Sustainable Development.

The Nightcap

Hotel staff will even be advised on how the Queen takes her 6pm tipple: Dubonnet and gin - an exact 50/50 mix.


The Queen's senior dresser travcels ahead, weeks or even months before the Queen's arrival, just to make sure her chosen outfits don't clash with the scenery.

Did you know?

The Queen’s Downton visit wasn’t entirely fictional. King George V and Queen Mary actually visited Highclere Castle, the on-screen Downton Abbey estate, in 1917 – you can still find their signatures in the estate’s guest book!


Just like the movie, if the Queen were to visit, you could expect a convoy! Today the Queen travels with as many as 34 people, including everyone from her private secretary and her hairdresser, to police bodyguards and the Foreign Secretary.


On-screen, Lady Mary brings Carson out of retirement to prepare for the Queen's luncheon and royal ball. In reality, a visit from the Queen would be a little less glamourous, but just as busy, with an itinerary ranging from matters of national importance, to interest spots Her Majesty might want to vists.

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