King Charles' Martini Ritual Is So Important He Travels With A Special Glass

As King Charles III of England embarks on his legacy as the 62nd British monarch to serve the United Kingdom and the 14 other Commonwealth realms in the past 1,200 years (via History), one may wonder, "What does a king do to relax at the end of a long day?" An avid gardener since childhood, King Charles III enjoys spending time, as Reader's Digest puts it, with "his real love," managing his gardens at Highgrove House, and particularly with his grandson, budding gardener Prince George, as he told BBC Radio 4's "Gardeners' Question Time." King Charles is so passionate about gardening, House Beautiful shared, he even appeared on the BBC's "Gardeners' World" in an effort to educate, encourage, and inspire British gardeners to "do their bit" to help mitigate threats to native plants and trees.

And like many other members of the British royal family, he also enjoys a cocktail in the evening to unwind. Elle Decor detailed the royals' drinking habits: Queen Elizabeth's favorite was said to be a glass of gin mixed with Dubonnet (a fortified wine), garnished with a lemon slice and taken just before lunch (as well as a dry martini or champagne in the evening). King Charles' father, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, kept things simple with a Boddingtons beer, while Queen Consort Camilla prefers a gin and tonic. But King Charles' favorite is said to be a 50/50 martini (half gin and half dry vermouth).

A ritual martini fit for a king

In the Channel 4 documentary "The Real Windsors: Prince Charles — The Outspoken Heir," Hungarian Count Tibor Kálnoky, a distant relative to the king, reveals that the then-prince enjoyed a drink each night before dinner when staying at the small country farmhouse he has owned since 2006 in the tiny remote village of Viscri, Transylvania, in central Romania (the BBC reports only about 450 people live there). Count Kálnoky helped the King find his modest country getaway after he fell for the area's historic beauty and unchanged way of life. In the Channel 4 documentary, Count Kálnoky said of the monarch, "He likes a martini before dinner, that's for sure." 

Director Paul Feig (the owner of Artingstall's Brilliant London Dry Gin) echoed this sentiment when he sat down for a chat on The Late Late Show with James Cordon, and shared how a friend had set up a tea-time meeting for Feig's 60th birthday with then-Prince Charles — during which, Feig said, "I ended up making a martini for — now — the King." 

According to The Independent, Tina Brown, author of "The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor," reports that King Charles has a ritual of sorts when it comes to his nightly beverage, noting that sometimes he attends dinners "with a 'pre-mixed martini' carried by his protection officer, which would be given to the butler and served in his own glass."