Queen Elizabeth eats breakfast before breakfast because she means serious business
We know what the young Pope of HBO’s The Young Pope likes for breakfast—Cherry Coke Zero (and perhaps a cigarette). But how do other anachronistic figureheads who occupy positions of fading power do their morning meals? Queen Elizabeth II, for instance. As Business Insider recently laid out in an article detailing the Queen’s breakfast, she actually prefers eating a pre-breakfast meal, at around 7:30 a.m., with a pot of Earl Grey tea (she takes it black, as it were) and some biscuits.
After that, she moves on, an hour or so later, to breakfast with the Duke of Edinburgh, otherwise known as Prince Philip. Lizbet’s preference is for cereal—usually Special K—with fruit, served in a Tupperware container, but she sometimes enjoys toast with marmalade or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and truffle. She also reads the papers at this time—one of my favorite pastimes, as I’ve noted before—particularly the Telegraph and the Racing Forum (if you watched The Crown recently, you know the Queen loves horses).
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Let’s back up here for a minute, though, and consider the Queen’s light, pre-breakfast meal, which strikes me as somewhat revolutionary despite its simplicity. As far as I can tell, there doesn’t appear to be a commonly used term for the meal taken before breakfast, which, I guess, you could also describe as breakfast, but that would render the word somewhat meaningless. The closest term I can think of is jentacular, which is an adjective that describes a meal taken early in the morning or right after waking. That describes the Queen’s meal of tea and biscuits, somewhat, but her breakfast an hour later is also pretty early and might also be described as jentacular.
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Given this confusion, it seems appropriate that a word should be devised—like supper, the light evening meal that typically comes after a heavier, earlier dinner—to take into account the possibility that some people eat food before breakfast. I don’t know what that word should be. But the meal—which I occasionally indulge in—is common enough that a term for it would come in handy so we aren’t walking around misunderstanding each other. One certainty is that, 65 years into her reign, Queen Elizabeth II, that cipher, continues to confuse us.
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This article originally appeared in Extra Crispy.