What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (2023)

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites

What the royals really eat 

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (1)

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They have access to the best chefs in the world and live a life of luxury and privilege. But the royal family enjoy far more than caviar and Champagne. Read on to discover the Duchess of Cambridge's home-cooking habits, Princes William and Harry’s favourite fast food, and the top-notch meals that were served to the Queen’s beloved corgis.

The Queen prefers dark chocolate

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (2)

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We all like a treatnow and again, and the Queen is no different. “She loves chocolate,” her former chef of 15 years, Darren McGrady told MarieClaire.com. “That was her favourite, and it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better.”

Mangoes are a family favourite

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (3)

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For something healthier, mangoes are the Queen's snack of choice. Former Buckingham Palace chef John Higgins toldtheNational Post: “She could tell you how many mangoes were in the fridge at Buckingham Palace”. Meanwhile, Darren McGrady told The Telegraph that Prince Andrew loves the tropical fruit too: “Every Christmas, he'd get sent a gift of mangoes and he'd come into the kitchen bellowing: 'Where are my mangoes?'”

Prince Charles eats a strictly organic diet

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (4)

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Prince Charles is such an advocate of pesticide-free food, he launched his own organic range (Duchy Originals) more than 25 years ago. He is even known to take cool bags of home-cooked dishes on tour with him. “He liked to have his own food with him,” his former chef Carolyn Robb told theDaily Mail. “He couldn’t risk going down with a bad stomach when he was so busy.” He's pictured here celebrating the 21st anniversary of his organic food range.

Prince Charles is reportedly very fussy about his eggs

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (5)

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In his book On Royalty, journalist Jeremy Paxman claimed Prince Charles is so particular about his boiled eggs, that staff would prepare up to seven in the hope one would be just runny enough. However, thiswas rebutted on the Prince of Wales'official website. A couple of years later, though, Charles'former chef Mervyn Wycherleymade a similar claim:"It was never anything other than a four-minute egg. His detectives radioed his ETA ahead. I always kept three pans boiling – just to be safe."

The royal chefs forage for wild mushrooms 

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (6)

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Chef Carolyn Robb told the Daily Mail that many ingredients would come from the grounds of the royal estates. In her book The Royal Touch, Robb shares fond memories of foraging for wild mushrooms with Prince Charles on the Scottish Balmoral estate. Salmon would also be fished from the river hereand plums came from the trees at Highgrove, home to the Prince of Wales.

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall enjoys raw peas

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (7)

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The Duchess of Cornwall has revealed an unusual penchant for raw peas, according to the Mirror. “I tell you what I really like – eating peas straight from the garden,” shetold students during a visit to a school in Slough, UK. “If you take them straight from the pod they are delicious and really sweet. I take all my grandchildren down to the garden and they spend hours and hours eating peas."

The Queen loves Kate’s homemade chutney

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (8)

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During her first Christmas at Sandringham, the Duchess of Cambridge was understandably anxious about what to buy the Queen. In the end, she opted for a thoughtful homemade gift: a jar of marrow chutney.She told an ITV documentary: "I thought, 'I'll make her something', which could have gone horribly wrong. But I decided to make my granny's recipe of chutney."Kate was delighted to find it on the dining table the next day.

Kate and William love a curry

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (9)

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In an interview with BBC Radio 1, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed that their takeaway of choice is usually a curry – though the pair do spend time deliberating over pizza or Chinese too. However, Prince William also admitted that he's not a fan of spicy food.

Victoria Sponge is a garden party favourite

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (10)

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The Queen's garden parties are the stuff of legend, with thousands of people in attendance and some 27,000 cups of tea served on the day. The Queen's guests get through around 20,000 slices of cakes too, and a classic Victoria Sponge is astaple. The cake is named for Queen Victoria and the royal offering features a simple sponge recipe, with lashings of raspberry or strawberry jam and butter cream and a dusting of icing sugar. Dainty sandwiches and scones join it on the menu.

Prince George enjoys high-end school dinners

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (11)

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Unlike generations of other school children, Prince George doesn’t have to put up with squashed sandwicheson his lunch break.The sample menuslisted on the website of Thomas'sBattersea school, which he usually attends, include salmon wellington, chickpea and apricot tagine, and freshly prepared chicken katsu.

Kate can't resist sticky toffee pudding

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (12)

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Sticky toffee pudding from Berkshire pub the Old Boot Inn is Kate Middleton's preferred dessert, according to People. The pub, andespeciallythe "moist and spongy" pudding, has long been a favourite with Kate and her family. Chef Rody Warot says she also loves the "pâté on toasted brioche or the roast figs on Parma ham with spicy apple chutney, followed by the tiger prawn and wild mushroom linguine".

Princess Charlotte has a sophisticated palate

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (13)

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During a visit to an Enfield primary school in north London for Children's Mental Health Week in 2019, Kate Middleton revealed that Princess Charlotte "loves olives". According to People, the Duchess of Cambridge said Charlotte and George enjoy cooking with her, with recipes such as made-from-scratch "cheesy pasta" proving a favourite.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle love to cook roast chicken

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (14)

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When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement inNovember 2017, Harry revealed in a BBC interview that he’d popped the question as they were "trying to roast a chicken".In fact, in 2016,Meghan told Good Housekeeping: "There is nothing as delicious (or as impressive) as a perfectly roasted chicken. If you have an Ina Garten-level roasted chicken recipe, it's a game-changer."

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Meghan Markle enjoys pasta with parmesan

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (15)

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Meghan Markle loves to cook and entertain and, before her marriage to Prince Harry, she ran her own lifestyle blog The Tig,where she shared tips on food and wine. Carb-heavy dishes are among her favourites. "When I'm travelling, I won't miss an opportunity to try great pasta," she told Delish, adding that a typical dinner would be pasta with courgette, lots of Parmesanand a glass of wine.

Meghan Markle has some hacks for great pasta

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (16)

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Meghan Markle doesn't just enjoy eating pasta, either – she loves making her ownand she has some tips and tricks to get it perfect every time. First, always make your sauce: "cooked pasta can’t wait for sauce," she says, "but sauce can wait for pasta".Next, use pasta water to make your sauce deliciously silky and cook fresh pasta for no longer than seven minutes.

Darren McGrady told MarieClaire.com: “The Queen loves to eat any food from the estate – so game birds, pheasants, grouse, partridge – she loves those to be on the menu.” The Boxing Day hunt on the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk remains an annual tradition to this day.

Leftovers don’t go to waste

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (18)

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Nothing goes to waste in the royal household and the family are more than happy to dine onleftovers. Prince Charles is particularly against wasting food, according to former royal chef Carolyn Robb. ShetoldRacked: “They were always very thrifty and economical. If we made roasted lamb and there was leftovers, we’d probably go and make shepherd’s pie the next night.”

The princes tried to swap the chef's dishes for fast food

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (19)

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Darren McGrady told People he would often make British classics for Princes William and Harry when they were growing up, including cottage pie, fish cakes, jam roly-poly and sticky toffee pudding. Butthe princeswere once so keen for a change that they forged a note from their nanny, sayingthey were allowed fast-food pizza instead. Unfortunately for them, their “juvenile handwriting gave their identity away”.

Prince William likes chicken chain Nando's

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (20)

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In 2018 Prince William revealed that he is partial to chicken chain Nando's, having been introduced to the restaurantby one of his police protection officers. On meeting the chain's co-founder he told him: "It's very good". Princes William and Harry also loved visiting McDonald's as kids.

Princess Diana opted for healthier options

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (21)

(Video) What Are The Queen's Favourite Dishes? | Secrets Of The Royal Kitchen | Absolute History

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Princess Diana asked her chefs to take red meat and carbohydrates off the menu, according to chef Darren McGrady. Speaking tothe MailOnline, he claimedlight choices such as stuffed peppers and poached chicken were health-conscious Diana's favourite. McGrady said: "'She'd tell me: 'You take care of the fats, I'll take care of the carbs at the gym'."

The Queen avoids pasta, rice and potatoes

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (22)

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The Queen has attended hundreds of indulgent banquets over the yearsbut when she’s eating privately, she likes to keep things a little healthier. Darren McGrady told RecipesPlus that she shuns starchy pasta, rice and potatoes in favour of lighter options, such as grilled chicken or fish, wherever she can.

The Queen takes afternoon tea every day

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (23)

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Afternoon tea is a staple of the royal diet, with the Queen sitting down to one every day without fail. According to Darren McGrady and The Telegraph, the tea consists of dainty, crustless sandwiches, sweet treats and scones. The light fruit scones are made to a classic recipe featuring buttermilk and packed with sultanas. McGrady even reveals that the Queen would often crumble them upand share them with her corgis.

The dogs enjoyed freshly cooked meat

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (24)

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The Queen’s beloved corgis werealso incredibly well fed. They even had their own royal menu which rotated between beef, chicken, lamb and rabbit. Darren McGrady toldHello! Online:"It would be chosen and sent to us in the kitchen every month by Mrs Fennick, who took care of all the dogs at Sandringham."

The Queen loves steak with a Marmite marinade

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (25)

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Gaelic steak is one of the Queen’s favourite meals, according to Darren McGrady who spoke to HELLO! Online. His recipe consists of a beef or venison fillet in a whiskey and mushroom cream sauce. The magic ingredient wasa quarter teaspoon of Marmite.

Menus are ordered three days in advance

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Things are veryorganised at the royal palaces. Darren McGrady explainedto MarieClaire.com: “At Buckingham Palace, we'd do a menu book that we'd send up to the Queen and she could choose the dishes she wanted. The book would come back to the kitchen and we'd prepare them. The Queen's menus are done three or more days ahead and she sticks with them religiously.”

Prince Andrew loves crème brûlée

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (27)

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Whenever her son Prince Andrew isvisiting, the Queenensures his favourite sweet treat ison the menu.According to Darren McGrady andHELLO! Online, it's crème brûlée with Sandringham oranges.

The Queen has a couple of favoured tipples

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In an interview with CNN, Darren McGrady confirmed that the Queen's preferred strong drink is a gin and Dubonnet – one part gin and two parts Dubonnet. He also said that Her Majestyis partial to a German sweet wine with dinner, though he keenly stressedthat this is not a nightly occurrence.

It’s a myth that the royals never eat shellfish

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (29)

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(Video) Former Royal Chef Reveals King Charles' Fave Meal And What It Was Like Cooking For Him + Diana

It's often reported that the royals avoid shellfish during tours or events, in the hope of dodging a bout of food poisoning. However, Darren McGrady debunked the myth on Twitter, sharing a royal menu beginning with a lobster soufflé. The Duchess of Cambridge was also spotted eating oysters during a visit to Canada's Prince Edward Islandand Prince William has revealed that both himself and Kate "love sushi".

Discover more about Prince Edward Island's incredible food and drink

Steak must be well done

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (30)

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While many sources cite rare meat as another banned food, it seems it might be more a matter of preference. Chef Darren McGradyhas revealed that the Queen herself likes her meat a little more well done.

Garlic is banned

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (31)

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The royal family stay away from garlic to ensure that their breath stays fresh. Former chef Carolyn Robb told Rackedthe pungent ingredient was banned since "they obviously did a lot of public engagements and were in close proximity to people."

Everyone must do as the Queen does

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (32)

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According to the BBC and etiquette experts Debrett's, the cardinal rule when dining with the Queen is to do as she does. Guests should take their seats when Her Majesty doesand begin eating when she does too. It's also customary for the Queen to start a conversation with the person on her rightbefore the person on her left.

These are the most amazing royal banquets in history

Poutine is one of Meghan's favourite foods

What the Queen really eats and other royal food favourites (33)

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The Canadian staple of poutine – fries topped with cheese curds and hot gravy – is a favourite of the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan discovered the comforting dish while filming Suits in Toronto, according to Delish. "It's got to squeak when you bite into it...that's how you know you've got the right kind," she told the publication.

Now check out the royal family's Christmas feast through the ages

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10 June 2021

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