King Charles III has banned the food described as “torture in a tin” by animal rights campaigners from all royal residences. The 74-year-old Monarch has long held a dislike for the French delicacy foie gras, also known as fatty liver, and previously asked Clarence House chefs not to order it when he was Prince of Wales. But now as the head of the Royal Family Charles has extended the ban to all residences in a move praised by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta).
A Peta spokeswoman said: “As Prince of Wales, King Charles removed foie gras – a despicable product for which ducks and geese are force-fed until their livers swell up to 10 times their natural size before the animals are slaughtered – from his royal residences.
“Now, Peta has received confirmation that His Majesty’s compassionate policy extends to Buckingham Palace and all other royal residences.”
Queen Elizabeth II never revealed her feelings on the dish but a letter received by Peta has confirmed that a foie gras ban is in place across the Royal Household and for all royal residences, which would include Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle and Buckingham Palace.
King Charles has long been an advocate for animal welfare and it was reported in 2008 that Andrew Farquharson, deputy master of the household Clarence House, had been ordered to ban the food. He said at the time: “The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras.”
The production of foie gras involves force-feeding ducks or geese more food than they would eat in the wild or voluntarily in order to deposit large amounts of fat on the liver. The liver is then harvested to produce the foie gras pate.
Peta and other animal rights organisations have long protested against the production of the speciality food, of which France is the world’s biggest producer and consumer.
Elisa Allen, vice president of Peta, welcomed the confirmation of a royal ban in the UK.
She said: “Follow the King’s lead and leave foie gras off the menu this Christmas and beyond. Video footage of birds being painfully force-fed is enough to make anyone lose their lunch.”
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As a gesture of gratitude, the group is sending the King a hamper of ‘faux gras’ made by vegan chef Alexis Gauthier. There is a ban on the production of foie gras in the UK, but not a ban on its sale or importation.
But it will certainly not be on the menu next week for the first state visit of King Charles’s reign, when he hosts a state banquet in Buckingham Palace for the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.
DUP MP Sammy Wilson tweeted about the news of the King’s ban saying: “Real leadership from the King. The sale and importation of foie gras should be banned in the UK. It’s time for Parliament to act.”
In 2021 the Queen’s grocer Fortnum and Mason dropped selling foie gras after pressure from stars including Joanna Lumley and Ricky Gervais
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