6 surprising food facts about Queen Elizabeth, according to a former royal chef

ByLinda D. Mohler

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queen elizabeth ii walking stick

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest serving British monarch.JOE GIDDENS/POOL/AFP via Getty Photos

  • Celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee consider location in the course of the 1st week of June.

  • Former royal chef Darren McGrady shared little-acknowledged facts about the Queen’s having patterns in his cookbook.

  • Chefs weren’t authorized to lower tea sandwiches into rectangles or squares simply because they resembled coffins, according to McGrady.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations acquire area throughout the first week of June.

The Queen during her Diamond Jubilee tour

The Queen all through her Diamond Jubilee tour.Arthur Edwards/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II, 96, is the very first British monarch to rejoice a Platinum Jubilee — marking 70 decades on the throne — and celebrations will just take area above the first week of June.

Darren McGrady is a previous royal chef who expended 15 several years as a chef for the Queen at Buckingham Palace and Princess Diana at Kensington Palace. He joined the Queen’s employees in 1982 just before transferring to Diana’s staff in 1993. McGrady remained at Kensington Palace until finally Diana died in August 1997.

Forward of the celebration, McGrady re-released the 2007 anecdotal cookbook “Taking in Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen,” which shares minimal-identified aspects about the royals and their eating behavior.


Queen Elizabeth ordered scones with her tea daily — but gave them to her corgis in its place.

Queen Elizabeth posing with a corgi on February 04, 1970.

Queen Elizabeth II posing with a corgi in February 1970.Bettmann/Getty Photographs

According to McGrady’s cookbook, scones have been aspect of Queen Elizabeth’s everyday tea company for the duration of his time at Buckingham Palace.

“They ended up served religiously every working day, alternating concerning fruit scones or basic scones,” McGrady wrote. “Though the Queen insisted on them as element of her tea, I suspect she didn’t truly like scones. I say that due to the fact she by no means, at any time ate them.”

McGrady continued that the Queen would feed them to her corgis.

“Instead, at the conclusion of her day-to-day tea, the Queen would just take a scone and crumble it on to the flooring for the corgis. It would seem the dogs quite preferred them,” he wrote.

Chefs were not permitted to cut tea sandwiches into rectangles or squares due to the fact they resembled coffins, in accordance to McGrady.

Queen Elizabeth in February 2022 Visists RAF Marham

McGrady recalled that slicing tea sandwiches in rectangles or squares could likely be offensive to Queen Elizabeth II.Getty Visuals/Pool

McGrady recalled inquiring a fellow chef why it was demanded to trim corners off of tea sandwiches for Queen Elizabeth in the course of his early days at Buckingham Palace.

“I was instructed to never cut a sq. or a rectangle,” McGrady wrote in his cookbook. “It seemed also considerably like a coffin and it intended you wished the Queen ill. I was aware to by no means make that error.”

The head chef designed menu alternatives for Queen Elizabeth everyday.

Queen Elizabeth in October 1986

Queen Elizabeth reading through the menu in advance of dinner is served at a banquet in Oct 1986.Tim Graham/Getty Visuals

McGrady wrote that the head chef “would establish a listing of menu ideas” each day for Queen Elizabeth to approve.

“Every day he would compose his tips down in a red leather-based-bound guide with ‘Menu Royal’ embossed in gold on the cover,” McGrady wrote. “As quickly as 1 reserve was crammed, it was sent to the royal archives and a new guide was sent to the kitchen area as a substitution.”

McGrady tried to file Princess Diana’s daily menus when he moved to Kensington Palace, but she experienced no interest.

“She believed it was a squander of revenue and asked, ‘Why would any individual in a long time to appear want to know what I ate?'” McGrady claimed of Diana.

The Queen has a well-recognised enjoy for chocolate but gave up the deal with just about every yr for Lent.

Queen Elizabeth putting a knife into her Platinum Jubilee cake at Sandringham House

Queen Elizabeth cuts a unique cake for a celebration prior to Accession Working day 2022.Joe Giddens/Getty Visuals

In accordance to McGrady, “The Queen presents up chocolate for Lent, so banished are her most loved Bendicks Bittermints and Charbonnel et Walker chocolates.”

“On Easter Sunday the cooks would go to great lengths to put together all sorts of chocolate treats to make up for the forty-day abstinence,” McGrady wrote. “There have been chocolate cakes furthermore milk chocolate, white chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate eggs.

McGrady added that the chocolate sweets ended up served at royal teatime for “quite a few days” in advance of being positioned in the staff members dining space.

Queen Elizabeth was “particular” about taking in fruits in time.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attend Royal Ascot in June 2011.Anwar Hussein/Getty Pictures

In a chapter about Windsor Castle, McGrady wrote about the Queen’s enjoy for the Royal Ascot during the summer months. The Royal Ascot is a prestigious five-day horse racing event in the United kingdom established by Queen Anne in 1711.

“Ascot kicked off the summer season for palace cooks,” McGrady wrote. “Now we could use strawberries, cherries, and all the great summer fruits.”

He continued: “The Queen was very certain about feeding on fruits in period. We could provide strawberries pretty much each and every day for the duration of the summertime — but woe betide any chef who set them on the menu in January.”


McGrady usually understood when Queen Elizabeth was prepared for lunch at Sandringham Estate’s Wood Farm due to the fact of her horde of corgis.

Queen Elizabeth II walking her dogs at Windsor Castle in April 1994.

Queen Elizabeth walking her pet dogs at Windsor Castle in April 1994.Julian Parker/Getty Photographs

Wood Farm is uncovered on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate, a personal residence, in Norfolk.

“The eating space was appropriate upcoming to the kitchen, and we realized when the Queen was coming via for lunch mainly because the door was always open up and the puppies would be herded into the kitchen,” McGrady wrote.

“I could sense as quite a few as twelve in the royal dining room and 6 in the staff members place, all the whilst navigating close to the canine, which had been jumping for tidbits,” he continued. “You could not thrust the dogs absent, for the Queen would listen to them yelp in the up coming space and know what was likely on.”

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