Prince Charles’ Former Butler Says This Is the Only Proper Way to Eat a Pastry

See if you agree with his suggestions.

Assorted pastries

A. Taha Tercan / EyeEm / Getty Images

Finally, we’ve got an answer to an age-old question: What, exactly, is the correct way to eat a pastry? Sure, we’ve all got our opinions. Some people peel croissants before chomping into the buttery center. Others dig in, bite by bite. Some take one pastry, while other people wouldn’t consider it breakfast without (at least) two.

To settle the debate that you didn’t actually know was a debate, Grant Harrold — royal commentator and Prince Charles’ former butler — shared his thoughts in a recent video on Instagram. The content creator often gives his followers a peek into the world of etiquette by sharing tips, history, and more on social media. And while Harrold currently focuses on sharing etiquette tips online, he worked for the British royal family as a member of the now-King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla’s Highgrove household between 2005 and 2011. In addition, he has also served as the butler for the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

The recent video that caught our eye is less about the mechanics of actually eating a baked good, but instead digs into the act of obtaining one. Let’s break it down.

Hold off on grabbing a pastry first.

“Offer to your guests first,” says Harrold. It doesn’t matter how hungry you may be or how many pastries are sitting on the plate, etiquette is making sure everyone has a chance to claim a baked good before the host.

Only take one when it’s your turn.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please remember that while having a pastry in the morning, you only take one,” Harrold says in the video.

And the commenters had tips, too.

While some viewers weren’t keen on the idea of only taking one pastry, there were a few who chimed in with helpful guidance of their own. “Also, remember not to bite the pastry over the rest of the pastries,” says Cristina Blanco (@cristinamad72).

Commenter Aras Selim (@aras_selim) also suggests using a set of tongs to help keep things sanitary when you’re passing a basket of pastries around a table.

If you’re fascinated by the royal family and the traditions that come with being a part of it, consider giving Harrold a follow. When he isn’t talking about pastries, expect topics like napkin placement, holiday etiquette, handshake how-tos, and more. 

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