I'm not convinced that being The Queen is actually very much fun. Yep, you can boast a platoon of servants and staff. And yep, your property portfolio would humble even the canniest Auckland investor.

But can you imagine all the handshakes? The stifled "How do you do"s?

Imagine just wanting to lounge about in trackies and a T-shirt, but having to sit through however many fawning speeches and excruciating fundraising galas?

I feel sorry for the Queen. And on her 90th birthday, amidst all the praise and good wishes from the Commonwealth and around the world, comes news of an incredible sacrifice that outdoes her lifetime of public service.


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II doesn't eat garlic. Not a bulb. Not a pinch. Not so much as a single clove.

For reasons of politeness and etiquette, apparently she worries about stinking out whomever she might have to formally receive. Her chefs ban all spice and garlic and serve nothing but the blandest British cuisine.

Talk about suffering: I'd rather cut off a few toes than never eat garlic.

I put it on toast. I put it in yoghurt. I'd have it on my cereal if it didn't make the milk go a bit weird.

How fulfilling can life truly be without a decent korma? How rich are 90 years without the satisfaction of lifting a sizzling finger from a heap of crispy fries and sinking it in a vat of creamy aioli? The Queen has everything and yet nothing at all.

Poor old Prince Philip never signed up for this. He expected the travel and the paparazzi and the absurdity of royal life. But no garlic? Apparently he gorges on it as soon as QEII leaves the house.

So I'm calling for a retake. I want another birthday celebration for our longest-reigning monarch. It's time someone gave Her Majesty what she really deserves: a decent pasta sauce.

Debate on this article is now closed.