When the amazing nutritive properties of royalty were finally discovered, it was nearly too late. Two centuries of overbreeding, not to mention numerous juntas, coups, revolutions, and social progressions, had taken their sad toll on what had formerly been a robust and geographically diverse breeding stock. The increasingly sedentary lifestyle of the remaining royals, while leaving their meat tender and marbled, also contributed to their wasting and decline. More than one gourmet compared the matter to the raising of Kobe beef.
It was a problem. Not only was the meat of a king or a queen succulent beyond all others, light and delicate, it also possessed strong rejuvenative powers, so that even the tiniest morsel could double or triple one’s lifetime. The moral issues raised by this alone threatened to put an immediate end to the scattered and dipsomaniacal herd, as various fringe groups began hunting the rarest of game, employed either by octagenarian gourmands or by social agitators horrified by the idea of extending the lifespan of the upper two percent of society by two hundred years.
The remaining royalty went into hiding, either in far northern Europe or the middle of Africa. Governmental service was uninterrupted, but chefs the world over lamented.