Comments by the Duchess of Rutland, whose family home is Belvoir Castle, suggesting on a live breakfast television debate that McDonald’s should use pheasant meat in their burger and nugget meals have this morning (Tuesday) caused a stir on social media.
Emma Rutland was appearing on ITV 1’s Good Morning Britain to discuss a planning application for a new McDonald’s restaurant in Rutland, which is the only county in the UK not to have one.
She argued that it would not be a good move for councillors to approve the Oakham plans tonight because it would create a litter problem from customers throwing away the packagaing after eating their meal and because it would reduce local sales of meat grown by farmers and landowners.
The duchess told the programme: “There is a debate on both sides and I must admit I do pick up a McDonald’s from Grantham for my children.
“But there is the rubbish issue and the effect on local food.
“They could put pheasants into their burgers or perhaps serve pheasant nuggets.
“We are looking for a market for our game in this country and it is a big issue.”
Host Piers Morgan then accused her of snobbery when she suggested pheasant was a cheap food to buy.
He replied: “It would be the most expensive McDonald’s in the world if they started sellling pheasant burgers and nuggets in Rutland.”
The comments by the duchess sparked a flurry of comments on Twitter from people who felt she was out of touch with normal life.
Lynnesy Patterson posted: “The Duchess of Rutland is detached from reality. She thinks pheasant nuggets or burgers should be sold at McDonald’s.”
Janice Martin commented: “I’ve heard it all now. The argument for opposing a McDonald’s in Rutland from the Duchess of Rutland is because they’re not serving PHEASANT!!!!!!”
And Barry Grant posted: “Total snobbery by the duchess of rutland or what ever her title is this morning on GMB..she says pheasant is cheap to eat.”
Paul Norris commented: “Did anyone see the Duchess of Rutland on Good Morning Britain who is campaigning against a McDonalds opening in Rutland?... she said that she’d be less opposed if they’d consider serving pheasant nuggets. Completely seriously.”
But the duchess did have some support for her idea, with Belinda Kaikitis posting: “Pheasant burger .... I would try it! But I think the point the very funny Duchess was making is that she would want Macdonald’s to use local produce and tackle litter. Fair comment.”
Emma Rutland was joined on the panel by Thomas Skinner, a candidate on the latest series of The Apprentice, who, as a regular fast food consumer, said he would visit Rutland if the McDonald’s restaurant was approved.
Rutland County Council is due to consider the planning application at a meeting today.