Did Queen Elizabeth Actually Have A Martini Tunnel?

Living life as part of the British royal family means being in the public eye and being the subject of public fascination. At the end of a long day, having a drink at home inside the palace must be a pleasant experience, but what if someone just really wanted to go out into town and feel like a regular Joe having a drink in a bar? You can understand why the royals might want to keep a low profile when out in public, and why they might also choose to innovate to keep their privacy when leaving palace grounds. Sure they could have a driver take them anywhere they want to go, but what about having a clandestine way to sneak in and out?

According to Food & Wine, Jack Brooksbank, Casamigos tequila salesman and husband to Princess Eugenie let slip that there may be a secret tunnel underground in London for the royals to use to get from a palace to a famous martini bar that sells a nearly $20 martini – rumored to have been beloved by both the late Queen Elizabeth and the late Princess Diana.

Was the late Queen sneaking underground for a sip?

In a conversation Jack Brooksbank had with columnist Richard Eden last year, Brooksbank intimated that a secret passage leads from St. James Palace to Dukes Bar in the Dukes boutique hotel in Mayfair. He said he'd never used it but was eager to check it out.

According to Vogue, Dukes bar is quite the historic haunt. James Bond author Ian Fleming was once a regular there and it's there that 007's martini was first created, shaken not stirred if you please. Vogue notes that the Vesper Martini is still the signature drink at the bar even all these years later.

So is this secret martini tunnel fact or folklore? Vogue points out that neither Dukes nor the royal family has ever confirmed (or denied) the existence of this tunnel, but the bar is only .2 miles from St. James Palace, which means an easy walk underground if you're not claustrophobic. That said, no members of the royal family, including the late Queen Elizabeth, have lived at St. James Palace since the 19th century (via Food & Wine). 

Food & Wine also notes that St. James Palace is used primarily for offices and events, so a palace employee was more likely to use it than the queen herself.