By Lauren Le Vine. Photos: Getty Images.
One would imagine royals dining on fine china every day. Everything is extremely formal, with linens and courses served by butlers and maids, Downton Abbey-style. Well, former royal chef Darren McGrady is here to shatter those illusions. In a new interview with WWD, he says that Prince William and Prince Harry actually ate some more T.G.I.F.–style foods as children. Even more surprising, perhaps, is that it was at the request of their mother, Princess Diana.
The young princes used to dine on “unhealthy food against their nanny’s wishes,” as McGrady reveals. WWD jokes that this could include pizza and loaded potato skins, although McGrady doesn't get into specifics (and fish and chips seem more likely, given that they live in England). “The Princess just wanted them to be boys,” he said.
Their mother was an extremely healthy eater, eschewing red meats in favor of “chicken, fish, and vegetarian dishes.”
As for the Queen, McGrady recently told Vanity Fair that she’s a major chocoholic. She dines on a sliver of chocolate biscuit cake every single day. The cake is made for her majesty at Buckingham Palace, and it travels with her.
McGrady shared two additional pieces of insight about the Queen’s eating habits. “One is that she’s very disciplined,” eating 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,” McGrady said.
She also “favors frugality,” with McGrady recounting a particularly interesting tale about a lemon (well, as interesting as stories about lemons can be). A chef once included a whole lemon as a garnish for a dish, and the Queen ordered it back to the kitchen for use later on.
Prince Phillip, on the other hand, is more of a foodie. He did some of the cooking at Balmoral Castle himself; one dish in his repertoire being venison tenderloin. Their son, Prince Charles, likes to eat organic, and he would grow food in his garden.
So are the royals really so different from any family where someone is gluten-free, another person is a carb lover, and someone else is demanding you make a cake for them to eat a slice of every day? Yes, actually. They are.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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