The Painstaking Royal Etiquette For Eating Peas With A Fork

The British royal family and their customs are admittedly fascinating. Although we can't actually be royal, we can try our hardest to act thusly by following all of their quirky rules to a tee, especially when it comes to dining. Each food group comes with its own set of regal guidelines, ranging from pastry etiquette to sandwich etiquette. Now, according to British etiquette expert and coach William Hanson, even peas, the tiniest of vegetables, are accompanied by a set of painstaking rules to live by when they're on your dinner plate.


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Hanson acts as the director for The English Manner, which is an etiquette training institute in the United Kingdom — so it's safe to say, he knows a thing or two. In a recent video, Hanson schools his viewers on the proper way to eat peas if you want to cosplay royalty for the night. Apparently, if you've just been using a knife to push a bunch of peas onto your fork, you've been doing it wrong. The correct — albeit brutal — way to eat them is by stabbing the individual peas with the tines of your fork. Hanson is only able to get what looks like five or six peas on his utensil before popping them into his mouth (tines facing down, of course). Although Hanson's method for pea consumption seems beyond time-consuming, he's the expert, and it's all worth it if you want to see what dinner with Kate and Will is really like.

There has to be an easier way to eat peas

While Hanson's method may pass the royal etiquette test, it's not super practical, and you probably don't have hours to spend trying to stab individual peas with your fork. Most of the comments under Hanson's video poke fun at his pea rules, one user writing that they instead pick up their plate and tip it towards their mouth, letting the peas roll as they will. But one of the suggestions actually could work — someone proposes using mashed potatoes as a kind of pea-glue by smushing the little green veggies down into them.

Lucy Challenger, founder of domestic staff recruitment agency Polo and Tweed, is another British etiquette know-it-all, and her method for properly eating peas seems to be a lot more manageable. Instead of getting individual peas onto the tines of your fork, in a TikTok, Challenger recommends flipping the fork upside down and using a knife to move the peas up onto the underside of the fork. To eat them, you just lift the fork into your mouth as you normally would, and the peas remain balanced in between the tines. Although it's not as easy as just scraping the peas onto your fork, this definitely seems easier than the way Hanson suggests. 

The list of etiquette rules is seemingly endless

Along with maintaining his social media accounts and giving individual etiquette training lessons, Hanson also spoke to Marie Claire Magazine and explained some of the most vital rules to follow when it comes time to dine with royalty. Some of their rules make sense, like the fact that you're supposed to limit the amount of noise you make while eating — this includes scratching cutlery, so no scraping your plate for leftovers if you're in the King's presence. You also should never start chowing down before King does, and when he's done, your dinner is also over. 

Other rules are more specific and definitely seem like they'd be a hassle to remember. According to Hanson, there is a correct way to hold a teacup if you're trying to emulate the royal family — the handle should be held with your thumb and pointer finger while the other fingers mold to the rest of the handle. Apparently, Hanson also asserts that garlic is not allowed to be used in cooking for formal dinners or parties. It seems like there are an endless number of rules when it comes to dining like the royals, but ultimately it's up to you to decide how "proper" you want to be on any given day.