Food & Recipes

The Royal Family’s Former Chef Dishes About Their Eating Habits

Chef Darren McGrady reveals the Queen's chocolate habit, the princes' junk food consumption, and more.

While the royal family is certainly a hot topic of discussion (and entertainment), there are still some things that remain unknown to most of us about the world’s most interesting family. For example—what do they eat?

Well, wonder no longer. The royal family’s former chef is spilling the details about their personal diets and eating habits. Darren McGrady served the Queen for 11 years, then cooked for Princess Diana until her death in 1997. He opened up to WWD about his years as their chef, offering an interesting look into how royals eat.

Starting with the Queen, McGrady says her eating habits might come as a surprise. She is very disciplined, he says, eating just four small meals a day. “For lunch, it would probably be something like grilled fish with some salad. She wouldn’t have potatoes. Or when she’s on her own for lunch, she doesn’t have the starch. She just does the protein and the salad,” he told WWD. McGrady also recalls one time when the Queen sent back a lemon that was used as a garnish because it was a waste.

Not surprising, however, is that the Queen loves chocolate (don’t we all?). Her dessert of choice is a “chocolate biscuit cake” that, thanks to Google, is likely a cake that includes cookies. Here’s a recipe if you too would like eat your dessert like a Queen.

queen elizabeth eating photo
Getty Images | WPA Pool

Next up, McGrady says Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is a “foodie,” sharing that he has cooked for the family before, and Prince Charles even grows his own gardens and loves organic food.

Princess Diana avoided red meat and primarily requested chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes. After her death, McGrady donated profits from his book, “Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen,” to her charity.

Lastly, the princes. McGrady admits he used to feed Prince William and Prince Harry unhealthy food, despite the wishes of their nanny. “The Princess just wanted them to be boys,” he said. Looks like they turned out just fine!

prince william and harry photo
Getty Images | Chris Jackson

No stranger to making meals for impressive people, McGrady has cooked for more than 100 different kings, queens and presidents throughout his career. He now lives in Dallas, where he has his own kitchen, appropriately named Eating Royally, where he offers catering and personal chef services.

If you’re looking for a recipe to go with that chocolate cake (we bet you are!), McGrady’s new book, “The Royal Chef At Home: Easy Season’s Entertaining” will be out on Aug. 1, 2017.

Pre-order to provide yourself with some royal foodie treatment.

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