King Charles III’s coronation will usher in a new era of the British monarchy. It may also change the ways in which people associate the royal family with food.
Charles has long been a champion of sustainable farming and clean eating, and he’s now in a place of power where he can influence how everyday Brits eat, The New York Times noted on Tuesday. In his own life, he’s prioritized fruits and vegetables, organic agricultural practices, and other initiatives good for both people and the planet.
“He is in a completely unique position to change how so many people eat every day,” notable chef and restaurateur Alice Waters told the Times. “If he didn’t talk about regenerative agriculture and climate, I would be shocked.”
Both the King and Queen eat lots of fresh produce, ideally organic and from their own gardens. Camilla loves fish and salads, while Charles eats a special mix of muesli for breakfast with a selection of six kinds of honey. Two days a week, he eats a vegetarian diet, and on one day he gives up dairy entirely—all in an effort to lessen his carbon footprint.
There aren’t many details as to what the royal family will eat to celebrate Charles’s coronation, but those who have cooked for him told the Times that the menu will likely be simple and seasonal, featuring his favorite protein, British lamb. The official dish chosen by Charles and Camilla to mark the May 6 ceremony is a quiche with spinach, tarragon, fava beans, and cheddar cheese. The coronation quiche has actually caused quite a stir in the U.K., with some calling it too boring, and others pointing out that it calls for eggs at the time of a national egg shortage.
Rising food prices may prohibit Charles from having too big of an impact on his country’s culinary culture, at least for now. “Normally, I would say yes, there would be quite an influence,” the British chef Darren McGrady told the Times. “The only thing putting a damper on it right now is the economy … When it comes to buying food to nourish and fill the belly or buying organic, they are going to choose filling bellies.”
If the King continues to fill his belly with fruits and veggies, though, perhaps the larger British food scene will one day follow.