The Queen is unapologetically posh, that is no secret. With castles, butlers and a personal chef, it is hard to consider her a regular person who eats, drinks and sleeps. However she is, but her routine is anything but regular.
The 91-year-old monarch has a hectic schedule which sees her travel the length and breadth of the world on important trips. On her travels she has been known to indulge in a variety of rich foreign foods, but there is nothing quite like the comfort of a meal prepared for her by her personal chef.
Up until 1998, Darren McGrady was that man. As a personal chef to Her Majesty it could be assumed that he knows her better than anyone else, from those last night cravings to extravagant state dinners.
During his 15 years as part of the royal household, McGrady also served Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry. If that wasn’t pressure enough, his job required him to cook for high-profile guests of the royals, including US Presidents, Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagen and George H.W. Bush. However, it was his time cooking for the longest serving monarch in the world that is most intriguing…
McGrady’s time as part of the royal staff came to an end in 1998, after the tragic death of Princess Diana. Rejecting an offer from Prince Charles to become his private chef, McGrady packed his bags and set sail for the US, where he now lives with his wife and children in Dallas, Texas.
Despite having retired from Her Majesty’s services, McGrady often reflects on his time in one of the most prestigious establishments in the world. He fondly recalls small details from his time, that to him are insignificant, but to an outsider they’re of huge importance.
Speaking to Marie Claire, McGrady said how the Queen’s preferred breakfast was a simple bowl of “Kellogg’s cereal from a plastic container, which she’d serve herself” along with some “Darjeeling tea”.
Talking to The Telegraph, McGrady stated that the Queen would specifically eat either Special K or Corn Flakes, which she’d top with apricots, prunes or macadamia nuts. Whilst visiting her Scottish residence, Balmoral, she would indulge with fresh strawberries on her cereal.
Occasionally she would request a boiled egg or toast and marmalade. Then, for more extravagant meals she would tuck in to “scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a grating of truffle.” However this wasn’t a regular indulgence because “she was too frugal to ever order fresh truffles and only really enjoyed them at Christmas when the truffles were sent as a gift.”
“Sadly, the Queen is not a foodie. She eats to live, unlike Prince Philip who loves to eat and would stand and talk food all day,” McGrady told The Telegraph. Despite that, she does love chocolate and is often seen munching on sweet treats daily during afternoon tea, with chocolate biscuit cake (made with McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits) being her particular favorite.
For supper the Queen is “very disciplined” and prefers to eat small meals that contain “no starch” and “no potatoes, rice or pasta”. Instead, she opts for grilled sole with vegetables and salad. On a Sunday she enjoys a typical roast dinner after church, where she enjoys her meat well-done, never rare.
It is also true that the Queen doesn’t eat her sandwiches with the crust on. Delicate finger sandwiches are the only way to go in the palace.
The kitchen staff are also responsible for cooking meals for the Queen’s beloved corgis, and in peeling carrots for her to give to the horses. Amusingly, all carrots must be finger-length, so that no horse chomps on the monarch’s finger by accident!
Still intrigued by Queen Elizabeth II? After all, we do know so little about her. This video will help answer any questions that you may have about the British Queen…