On Wednesday, fans were looking forward to see Prince Charles on MasterChef Australia, as the British royal made his much-anticipated guest appearance on the popular cooking show. Much as fans wanted to see the Prince of Wales feast on some rather unusual dishes whipped up by the show’s contestants, he didn’t end up eating a single bite. This has led to a number of theories that have sought to explain why Charles chose not to partake of the MasterChef contestants’ creations.
As recalled by Eater, Prince Charles was served a number of exotic recipes by the MasterChef Australia contestants, including wallaby tartare with green pants, and goat cheese mousse prepared with bush spices. The contestants whipped up those canapes as part of a challenge where they had to use ingredients native to Australia, but while Charles was expected, like other special guests from previous episodes, to consume the exotic dishes, he passed on the recipes, which led to various speculations from social media users as the snub went viral.
According to Australian publication Mama Mia, one of the more prominent theories suggested that Prince Charles was following an obscure royal protocol that prohibits members of the royal family from eating on camera. Others speculated that Charles might have been concerned that the food wasn’t “100 percent safe to eat.” As these theories were thrown around, others chimed in with their own wisecracks, memes, and animated GIFs, including one Twitter user who posted a photo of an empty plate, calling it the “first look at [the] contestants’ vegetarian, halal, gluten-free dish” for the Prince of Wales.
A report from Yahoo Lifestyle discussed one idea proposed by a fan on Twitter, who suggested that Prince Charles’ “royal taster” might have had the night off. While it’s not clear whether Charles does have someone whose job description is to taste certain foods before he actually consumes them, the publication wrote that Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth, did indeed have a royal taster, as Irish chef Kevin Dundon previously told People that he had to prepare meals for both of them back in 1992.
Yet another theory suggested by Eater cited a 2017 report from British tabloid The Sun, where unnamed sources claimed that members of the royal family are not allowed to eat shellfish, as well as meats that are cooked rare. The sources suggested that these precautions are maintained in order to prevent the possibility of royals getting “any kind of bug” that could interfere with their day-to-day schedules.
At the moment, neither Prince Charles nor MasterChef Australia has commented publicly on the situation. Until then, it seems as if it’s anyone’s guess as to why His Royal Highness turned those canapes down on this week’s episode.