Wine and Dine Like a Royal: Particular Eating Habits of the Queen and Her Kin
Queen Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family are known to live by a very specific set of rules. Sometimes those rules even apply to what they can eat and how they eat it! But when the rules don’t really apply, each member of the royal family can get pretty particular about their meals.
From banning garlic from royal menus to secretly eating fat-free versions of what was being served, these royal family members have all developed particular habits in regards to the ways they enjoy their meals.
You’ll never guess why Queen Elizabeth needs a fork and knife for her bananas!
The Queen Loves Her Chocolate
The Queen’s favorite food to indulge in is chocolate – dark chocolate, to be exact. "She loves chocolate. That was her favorite, and it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better," Chef McGrady told Marie Claire.
And when it comes to chocolate, nothing is beneath the Queen. While she does enjoy her high-end European chocolate brands like Charbonnel et Walker, Bendicks, and Prestat, royal sources have said that the palace often gets stocked with everyday chocolates such as Cadbury and Nestlé. Chocolate biscuit cake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache sponge cakes are the Queen’s faves.
The Prince’s Eggs Are Boiled to Perfection
If you’re ever tasked with making boiled eggs for Prince Charles, you better make sure you do it right. Queen Elizabeth’s first born likes his boiled eggs cooked for exactly four minutes, which has his staff scrambling to get the timing right.
"His eggs had to be boiled for exactly four minutes. 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," Prince Charles’s former private chef Mervyn Wycherley told The Guardian in 2012.
The Queen Eats Bananas With a Fork and Knife
The average human eats a banana straight out of the peel while holding it, but Queen Elizabeth II is no average human. The Queen prefers to eat her bananas with a fork and knife to avoid looking "like a monkey," former royal chef Darren McGrady reveals in Eating Royally.
The Queen cuts the top and bottom off the banana, slices the skin lengthwise, then chops the fruit into bite-size pieces that she eats with a fork. Leave it up to a royal to make a simple thing unnecessarily complicated for the sake of civility.
Coming up, see what Meghan Markle will probably be craving as she gets further into her pregnancy!
The Queen Has to Have Her Drinks
The Queen always has to have her libations on hand. You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning, which is why before lunch, Queen Elizabeth enjoys a gin and Dubonnet (a wine-based aperitif) with lemon and lots of ice. Royal experts speculate that the Queen most likely uses Gordon’s Gin, which has a royal warrant. This was a drink preference she reportedly inherited from the Queen Mother.
At the end of the day, she indulges in a glass of champagne from any of the royal-approved brands such as Bollinger, Lanson, and Krug.
Meghan Markle’s Everyday Breakfast Routine
Meghan Markle may be the Duchess of Sussex now but she’s still from California, which is why it’s no surprise that her go-to breakfast is an açaí bowl (not pictured). She’s told Eye Swoon that her breakfast includes an "açaí bowl, clean cleanse shake, or a green juice," and that she usually makes the açaí bowls herself.
When asked how growing up in California has influenced her diet, Markle said, "We are so spoiled with our produce there, and my love of simple ingredients prepped well is completely linked to that." If she can’t make her own açaí bowl, she’ll opt for avocado toast and poached eggs.
Meghan’s American Guilty Pleasures
While the Duchess of Sussex likes to keep her diet healthy, she does enjoy a cheat meal every now and then. Her go-to guilty pleasures are boxed mac and cheese and tater tots.
"I love a french fry, but there’s no shame in that. But you know what I do really happen to [love] is that boxed macaroni and cheese. I now buy the Annie’s organic one if I’m craving it, but I throw some frozen peas into it and have this gooey simple childlike meal… I’m also not averse to eating tater tots. With ketchup and sriracha," Markle told Eye Swoon.
Speaking of guilty pleasures, see what Prince Harry and Prince William loved to indulge in when they were kids coming up!
This Common Ingredient Is Banned From Royal Menus
So long as Queen Elizabeth is on the throne, one thing that you will absolutely never have at a royal event is garlic. Despite how much it can liven up a dish, the Queen doesn’t like anything about garlic and never has.
"The Queen would never have garlic on the menu. She hated the smell of it, she hated the taste of it," Chef McGrady told Marie Claire. Apparently, part of the reason for this is because of the family’s frequent meetings with public figures. The Queen has eliminated the need to worry over bad breath or strong odors by banning garlic.
Princess Diana Had a Fat-Free Version of Everything
Princess Diana secretly ate a fat-free version of everything everyone else ate at royal events. "She used to trick people: She’d say, ‘Make me a mousse for President Reagan.’ She couldn’t have it because there was mayonnaise and sour cream. So she’d say, ‘Make me a fat-free version.’"
"So I did. Often, when guests would come, she’d have the fat-free version and the guests were on the full-fat version and no one would know the difference," Chef McGrady told Marie Claire. Princess Diana quietly suffered from bulimia during her stay at Buckingham Palace and while recovering, she got into healthy eating.
William and Harry Loved McDonald’s Growing Up
Prince William and Prince Harry were just regular kids when they were growing up (aside from the fact that they were royalty). What made them "regular" was their penchant for American junk food back in the day.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady told Marie Claire that one day Princess Diana took the boys to McDonald’s simply because they wanted the happy meal toy. "Yeah, the boys loved McDonald’s, and going out to pizza, and having potato skins – sort of the American foods. They were royal princes but had children’s palates," McGrady dished.
The Queen Stays Away From Starch
When she’s not entertaining or hosting guests, the Queen enacts a strict "no starch" rule on the royal menu. The Queen won’t have any meal that involves potatoes, rice, or pasta for dinner and usually her lunches consist of a simple grilled chicken with a side salad.
Chef McGrady told Daily Mail that the Queen isn’t much of a foodie and she mostly just eats to live. This is why she doesn’t opt for indulgent meals on her own. But when there are guests to attend to, the Queen will have meals "heavy in butter and cream."
Prince Charles Grows and Eats Organic Food
Prince Charles believes in growing and eating organic foods. When he makes organic dishes, including poached plums grown at his own estate, he will seldom share with the rest of the family. In fact, many of Prince Charles’s organic creations are often kept separate from much of the royal cuisine.
Prince Charles is so dedicated to the organic lifestyle that he even started an organic foods company called Duchy Originals in 1990. It originally started as an outlet for organic produce grown on the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove House estate and now sells products in specialty stores throughout the U.K.
Prince Charles may have introduced organic produce into his royal household, but one of his kin wasn’t on board as you’ll soon see…
Prince Harry Schooled His Family Chef Over Bacon
Prince Harry is very specific about his bacon and even told the family chef the "right" way to cook it when he was just eight years old! Chef Darren McGrady recalled in his book, "We serve the same bacon you can get in the states, and I broil it just the same. But Prince Harry said to me, ‘We had it in America at Disney World, and it’s so crispy you can snap it.’"
"You have to broil it first, and then you have to put it in some paper towels and place it in the microwave for a minute," Harry told McGrady.
Prince Philip Isn’t On Board With Organic
Prince Philip has been known to drop a punchline here and there when it comes to his opinion on many modern-day things. In one instance, he definitely wasn’t here for the organic food trend of recent years.
The royal family often receives hampers (baskets of food) from Harrods. One time there were two baskets and Chef McGrady had to explain that one was brought by Prince Charles. "[Prince Philip] looked puzzled so I opened it up and I said, ‘It’s all organic.’ And he said, ‘Oh, bloody organic!’ And just shook his head and walked out," McGrady recalled.
Prince Philip may have not liked organic stuff, but one former royal family member went healthy for a different reason as you’ll soon see…
The Queen Loves Leftovers and Tupperware
The Queen may have anything she desires at her own whim, but don’t be mistaken – she knows how to be frugal when it matters. When a whole lemon was used as mere garnish for a dinner, the Queen reportedly sent it back to the kitchen to be used in a future dish.
Because she prefers to conserve her leftovers, the Queen also loves Tupperware. She’s been known to snack on fruit straight out of a Tupperware container. She also pours her own cereal in the morning so long as its stored in a Tupperware because it stays fresher that way.
Kate Middleton Cooks For Her Family
While most of the royal family has lived their whole lives having their meals cooked for them, there are some members that prefer to cook for themselves. Kate Middleton is one of them.
"Kate does quite a lot of the cooking at the moment. You have to remember that she’s not royal. She comes from a normal background and a normal home where she’s always cooked for herself. And what I’ve always heard is that William enjoys spending time with her family because they just eat together at the kitchen table like a normal family," former royal chef Carolyn Robb told Racked in 2015.
Princess Diana Went Healthy For a Dark Secret
Princess Diana was very focused on eating healthy and would hardly even eat red meat. "The only red meat she would eat was lamb. And that was when she was entertaining. She’d never eat beef," Chef McGrady revealed.
He also added, "One day she said to me, ‘Darren I want you to take care of all the fats, and I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym.’ We changed everything, I threw out my Buckingham Palace recipe book and got into healthy eating. When she was at Buckingham Palace, her bulimia was definitely a hidden thing. We didn’t know about it."
Everyone in the royal family has someone cook for them, even the most unlikely family members as you’ll soon see…
Prince Charlies Doesn’t Need To Eat Lunch
Prince Charles reportedly only enjoys one cooked meal a day, which means he often skips out on lunch. The 70-year-old royal clearly likes to get a lot done in his time, but his staff sometimes wishes he’d take a break.
"When we do day visits or foreign tours, he can go the whole day without stopping for a break, which means we all have to miss our lunch as well… It’s good in a way, because it means he has time to meet more people," a royal courtier once told Daily Mail, who added it’s good to have a big breakfast on those days.
The Royal Animals Have Chefs Prepare Them Food
Even the royal family animals get specially-prepared meals! Queen Elizabeth’s corgis don’t eat bagged dry food and instead have their food made from scratch. "I simmered rabbit, cooked down some chicken, then finely chopped the meat, sieved the stock and returned the meat," former palace cook Owen Hodgson told Telegraph.
The horses’ carrots had to be prepared to the Queen’s specifications as well. "Each one had to be finger-length and peeled to perfection. If ever a horse bit the Queen’s finger, it was the chef’s fault for cutting them too short," Hodgson added.
Prince Andrew Loves His Mangoes
The Queen’s second son Prince Andrew always has to have his mangoes. If the royal staff knows that he is coming over for tea, they make sure that there are always mangoes available for him.
“Every Christmas, he’d get sent a gift of mangoes, and he’d come into the kitchen bellowing: ‘Where are my mangoes?’ He used to count them every day – he loved them,” recalls Chef McGrady to Telegraph. While the royal family most likely often had exotic fruits gifted to them, they also enjoyed the fresh produce grown on their properties.
The Queen Likes Milk and Cereal
You already know that Queen Elizabeth is pretty particular about what she eats and breakfast is no exception, but it’s actually a lot simpler than you’d think. The Queen starts the day with plain Earl Grey tea and a few biscuits.
For her actual breakfast, she pours herself a bowl of cereal, Kellogg’s Special K being one of her favorites. When she’s not having cereal, the Queen will opt for toast and marmalade or toast with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. Of course, the Queen’s eggs have to brown eggs because she thinks they taste better.