What is foie gras? Why has King Charles banned French delicacy in all royal residences - policy explained

The well-known delicacy will no longer be served in any royal residences

Foie Gras will no longer be served in any royal residences, a letter from Buckingham Palace to animal rights campaigners has confirmed.

King Charles is known to be a long-standing opponent of the food and has previously removed the controversial plate from his royal residences while still the Prince of Wales.

Now animal rights group Peta has said it received a letter from the Royal Household confirming that this policy has been extended to Buckingham Palace and all other royal residences. This would include Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle and Buckingham Palace.

As a gesture of gratitude, the group has backed a "cruelty free" alternative called “faux gras”, made by vegan chef Alexis Gauthier, and is sending the King a hamper in recognition of his “compassionate policy”.

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.”

King has put a stop to foie gras being served in all royal residences (Photo: Getty Images)

Elisa Allen, Peta vice president, welcomed the ban and encouraged “everyone to follow the King’s lead and leave foie gras off the menu this Christmas and beyond.” She added: "Video footage of birds being painfully force-fed is enough to make anyone lose their lunch.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment but it is understood the policy has been in place at the palace for a number of years.

What is foie gras?

Foie gras is a popular delicacy in French cuisine and is made from the liver of a duck or goose.

France is the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, but there are producers and markets worldwide, particularly in other European nations, the United States and China.

Animal rights campaigners say the luxury food is cruel as ducks and geese are force-fed to produce it, causing their liver to swell to 10 times its usual volume prompting accusations of torture and cruelty.

Several countries find foie gras to be "morally objectionable" and have laws against force-feeding, as well as the production, import, or sale of foie gras.

Foie Gras can be imported and sold in the UK, but its production is banned. The UK had proposed to prohibit its importation after Brexit, but these plans are now expected to be shelved.

Peta is also campaigning for the King to ditch ermine fur robes for his coronation next year and to use animal-friendly faux fur instead.