For months, Buckingham Palace has been consumed by rumors that the Queen has resumed drinking wine at weekends. But, according to Queen Elizabeth’s current sommelier, who spoke with the Express, there is no evidence that Queen Elizabeth has resumed wine-drinking.
According to Mary Minchin, the sommelier, the Queen still prefers beer and cocktails, and is happy to sip wine alongside her lunch at weekends. On March 1, Minchin appeared at a Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate the recent Patron House International Wine Festival, held across London over two weekends in January.
Speaking at the reception, she said, “It’s a different form of enjoyment and it’s nice to see what that’s like.” When asked if the Queen was happy to consume wine during her lunch, she said, “Absolutely, there are no plans for any change.”
In early 2018, the Queen announced she would cut back on certain drinks as part of her mental health initiatives.
It is widely believed the Queen has cut back on wine drinking in the past, following a revelation in 2014 from her former private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, that the Queen used to enjoy a vintner’s Lunch, where the monarch would be served three glasses of wine each after lunch and weekend visits with her husband, Prince Philip.
However, the Queen’s private secretary was left red-faced in February last year after a mischievous reporter planted a wine bottle in the customary place reserved for the queen’s legendary nightcap, the Gin and Tonic.
According to the article, the Queen does not drink alcohol each night, but does drink wine on Fridays.
The Evening Standard reported at the time that the royal family was on Thursday evening’s menu as a guest at a formal dinner at the residence, and wine and whisky were to be served. Two bottles of boozed-up champagne were apparently dangled over the dining table. “It’s a hint of how things used to be, I suppose,” a senior member of the Queen’s household said.
As well as struggling with health problems in 2017, the Queen has also battled other issues, including dying her husband’s eldest granddaughter, Princess Diana, from cancer on 31 August 1997, and the untimely death of her daughter-in-law, Princess Margaret, in 2002.
Despite the Queen’s apparent newfound aversion to wine consumption in the past, some followers of royal watchers are convinced the Queen remains a serious drinker, and that one glass of wine can provide a pleasant remedy to stress and exhaustion.