The Formula 1 racer recounted a lunch where he was seated next to the Queen

By Ashley Boucher
September 19, 2019 09:45 PM
Dan Istitene/Getty; Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty

When Formula 1 race driver Lewis Hamilton was invited to lunch with Queen Elizabeth II, his excitement got in the way of decorum — and the Queen herself corrected him!

After first meeting the Queen when he was presented with his MBE, the 34-year-old racer “got invited back like a year later for lunch with a group,” Hamilton said on a previous episode of the Graham Norton Show.

He explained that at the table of eight guests, he was seated to the left of the Queen.

“[I] saw the seating plan, and I was sat right next to her,” Hamilton said. “So I was kind of excited, you know? I was like, ‘This is cool.'”

“So I sat down, and she was to my right, and I started to talk to her,” he continued. “And she was like, ‘You speak that way first, and I’ll speak this way, and I’ll come back to you.'”

According to Delish, The Office of the Marshal of the Court is in charge of all seating arrangements when it comes to royal dinners or other official events.

The outlet also reported that “it’s commonly known she speaks to the person on her right until the second course of the meal comes,” when she’ll switch to conversation with the person on her left.

But it sounds like Hamilton’s faux pas didn’t cause too much of a disruption.

“She spoke to the guy next to her for like five minutes and then she spent the rest of the time talking to me,” he said. “It was really, really cool.”

There are actually quite a few rules when it comes to royal dining.

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Queen Elizabeth II
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For instance, tea time involves its own rules of propriety, like how to hold a tea cup. Beaumont Etiquette founder Myka Meier previously told PEOPLE that to hold your cup properly, you should pinch the top of the handle with your thumb and index finger, with your middle finger supporting the bottom of the handle, which should always be kept at 3 o’clock.

When it comes to drinking — tea or other beverages — one should also try to take sips from the same location to avoid getting lipstick stains on the rim.