Former royal chef Darren McGrady, who worked for both the late Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, told Harper’s Bazaar that the royal children cannot eat with their parents at official dinners or during holidays, according to Mirror, with the chef revealing that the rule stems from the importance of learning “polite conversation”.
According to McGrady, the Prince and Princess of Wales’ three children “aren’t allowed to sit with the adults until they have learned the art of polite conversation”. He also noted that there were never any exceptions, including for larger holidays like Christmas.
Rather, McGrady said that the three children would eat with their nannies in the nursery. “The children always ate in the nursery until they were old enough to conduct themselves properly at the dining table,” he said.
The former royal chef also dived into the importance of the young royals’ nannies, as it was their job to “educate” their palates. “The royal nursery wasn’t just for educating the minds of the young royals but educating their palates, too,” McGrady said.
“Nanny always had control of the menu and made sure they ate balanced meals that included not only lots of healthy vegetables but introduced them to new grown-up dishes too,” he added. Although, getting Prince William and Prince Harry to eat their vegetables was no easy task, the chef said. He said the two were bribed into eating vegetables during royal meal times, and if that didn’t work, he would disguise vegetables in the young royals’ meals by hiding it in their favourite foods.
According to McGrady, despite the efforts to get the royals to eat their greens, it didn’t stop Diana from taking her two sons out to McDonald’s occasionally as a treat.
Previously, the former royal chef, who served Queen Elizabeth for 15 years, also revealed some key aspects of her diet. For example, she never ate any starchy foods, including pasta or potatoes. The only exception was if it was for a state dinner. On a regular basis, she’d be served two vegetables alongside her main protein, which was normally grilled fish or chicken.
Another favourite of hers was a big salad or fresh fruit. The late monarch even had a very specific way she would eat bananas. “With a banana, she’ll cut off the bottoms and cut the banana lengthwise, and then cut the banana into tiny slices to eat with a fork,” McGrady told Recipes Plus.
As for sweets, the late royal had an obsession with chocolate biscuit cake, to the point of the dessert travelling across the globe with her. McGrady said if Elizabeth was going to Windsor Castle and there was uneaten chocolate cake leftover, a senior chef would travel on a train to deliver it to her.
“Now the Chocolate Biscuit Cake is the only cake that goes back again and again and again everyday until it’s all gone,” McGrady said. “She’ll take a small slice every day until eventually there is only one tiny piece, but you have to send that up, she wants to finish the whole of that cake.”