What does a Queen eat for dinner? Royal chef spills the beans on Elizabeth II’s daily diet

Queen Elizabeth attends a royal event
The Queen eats four meals a day and afternoon tea is crucially important. Pic credit: ©

Have you ever wondered what Queen Elizabeth eats for dinner? Well, wonder no more, as former royal chef Darren McGrady has revealed exactly what the monarch likes to eat throughout the day.

McGrady spent 15 years working as the Queen’s personal chef at Buckingham Palace, where he provided breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all members of the family.

He also had to cook for Elizabeth II’s many guests, including five US presidents –  Ford, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and Bush Jr. The chef also accompanied the monarch on two tours of Australia.

Since then, he sat down with Hello Magazine to explain what the Queen eats and how she orders it.

The Queen orders from a menu written in French

Firstly, the Queen orders her meals from a menu contained in a red leather-bound book. The monarch simply crosses out the stuff she doesn’t want and sends the menu back. The chefs order all the food three days in advance to make sure they’re well prepared for each eventuality.

An interesting quirk of the menu is that it’s all written in French; even the guests receive their menus in French. Why? Well, tradition, of course. The menus have been in French ever since the Norman conquests of the 11th century, and successive monarchs have kept the tradition going.

Luckily, Her Majesty is fully fluent in French, so she can be sure to get exactly what she wants.

What does Queen Elizabeth actually eat and drink?

Elizabeth II has four meals a day, which includes afternoon tea.

Her Majesty’s breakfast tastes are actually quite modest. She generally opts simply for cereal, yogurt, toast, and marmalade. If she’s feeling a bit more adventurous, she’ll go for some fish, such as smoked haddock or kippers. To drink, she likes Earl Grey Tea without milk or sugar.

For lunch, she usually goes for grilled chicken or fish (Dover Sole is a favorite) with wilted spinach or courgettes. Elizabeth II likes to keep her carbohydrates low, so she’ll generally avoid potatoes or pasta for the midday meal.

For an English monarch, things don’t get much more important or serious than afternoon tea, and the Queen makes sure to sit down every afternoon for more Earl Grey and sandwiches. Her favorite sandwiches are cucumber, egg, and smoked salmon.

She also always has scones with jam and clotted cream (the jam goes on first). McGrady said that the Queen always has to stop for afternoon tea wherever she happens to be in the world. He recalled a time on the Royal Yacht in Australia when Her Majesty asked for afternoon tea at 5 am in the morning; it was, of course, 5 pm (tea time) at home.

Finally, for dinner, McGrady said she likes a vast number of different dishes, mostly British and French cuisine. But she particularly likes game such as venison steaks.

She also likes smoked mackerel, salmon, and trout. It seems the Queen is a big fan of fish as it is a constant in all her meals.

As for alcohol, McGrady says the monarch is a modest drinker; her favorite is gin and dubonnet, but she also enjoys a sweet German white wine with dinner.

Last month, the royal chefs took to social media to share their tips and recipes for making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday or pancake day as it’s known in the UK.

In other more serious Royal news this morning, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has been accused of bullying staffers during her time based at Kensington Palace. Her spokespeople have denied the allegations and said Meghan is the victim of a smear campaign.

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