Although it’s easy to think of royal life as being full of luxury and debauchery, I probably wouldn’t want to be the Queen of England for any length of time.
Okay, that’s a lie; I’d totally love to be the Queen, but being royalty sounds like a lot of work. You’re required to make countless public appearances and speeches, and constantly look at your best doing so.
Wearing the crown at 91 years young, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has ruled the country for over 60 years, and when you’re under that kind of stress for so long, you need a diet that is literally fit for royalty.
But what the Queen shovels into her face hole on a daily basis isn’t exactly caviar and royal jelly.
Okay, let’s start with an obvious one: one thing we expect of British people is to be constantly drinking tea, and the Queen is no exception. Every morning, the Queen starts off with a piping hot cup of Earl Grey or Darjeeling, which is accompanied by a plate of biscuits. What a way to bring in the new day!
Now, it’s time for a proper breakfast, and with the entirety of the breakfast menu at her disposal, Queen Elizabeth plays it simple, starting her day off in the right way.
A simple bowl of cereal is all that’s necessary to get this monarch going in the morning, and her favorite cereal by a long way is Special K – so much so, the Queen has given Kellogg’s (the company behind Special K) a royal warrant, which is effectively a big thumbs-up from Her Majesty herself.
Sometimes, perhaps on a lazy Sunday morning, the Queen feels like something a little more indulgent than cereal. So occasionally, she’ll swap out the bowl for a plate, and have some scrambled eggs instead.
If she’s feeling particularly fancy, Darren McGrady (who was the royal chef from 1982 to 1993) revealed that she might ask for some smoked salmon or fresh truffle to go with it.
“She was too frugal to ever order fresh truffles,” Grady noted. “She only really enjoyed them at Christmas when the truffles were sent as a gift.”
Having enjoyed a long and fulfilling life so far, it’s perhaps no surprise that the Queen stays away from junk foods. In fact, she’s a bit of a health nut, and her favourite fruit is the noble strawberry.
At Scotland’s Balmoral Castle, which is kind of a vacation home for the Royal Family, there’s plenty of gooseberries and raspberries to enjoy, but the Queen’s favourite fruit is by far the strawberry.
Every now again while the Queen kicks back in Balmoral Castle (or Sandringham, where she spends her Christmases), she’ll ask one of her butlers or maid for a small plate of carrots. But they’re not entirely for her; no, the Queen shares her veggie snack with her horses!
These carrots must be prepared in a very specific way; they’ve got to be peeled, trimmed and top, before being split in half lengthwise so that the carrot halves are of equal length.
“Don’t ever cut them any shorter than that,” the Queen’s head chef revealed to McGrady. “Or she will blame us when the horse bites her fingers!” I’m kind of with the Queen on that, though. That’s got to hurt.
Next, it’s time for afternoon tea. Served at around five in the afternoon (the time most of us like to tuck into dinner), the Queen will usually go for freshly-baked scones to munch on while she sips, and they’re either of the plain or fruit variety.
That being said, McGrady has a feeling that the Queen doesn’t actually like the scones at all: she never actually eats the things!
“Instead, at the end of her daily tea, the Queen would take a scone and crumble it on the floor for the corgis,” McGrady wrote in his book Eating Royally. “It seems the dogs quite liked them.”
Along with those scones, the Queen also asks for a plate of sandwiches with her afternoon tea, and I doubt she shares these often with her dogs. She gets to choose between a variety of fillings, including cucumber, salmon, egg with mayonnaise, tuna, ham and mustard.
The bread is either whole wheat or white, sliced thinly, with the corners cut off, and McGrady reveals why.
“I remember early on in my career I asked a fellow chef why it was necessary to trim corners off of tea sandwiches. I was told to never cut a square or a rectangle. It looked too much like a coffin and it meant you wished the Queen ill.”
Alongside her usual lineup of sandwiches, the Queen might also ask for a “jam penny” – a tiny raspberry jelly sandwich cut into a circle the size of an English penny – for a sweet, nostalgic treat.
The British newspaper the Telegraph reveals how the Queen would gobble these down as a child, while playing with her sister, Princess Margaret.
If you ever want to live to be the Queen’s age, it’s really important that you stock up on the fruits de la mer, as the French say. According to McGrady, the Queen’s favorite dish is grilled Dover sole with a side of wilted spinach or courgettes.
“That’s all she has. She’s very disciplined like that,” McGrady revealed to CNN. “She could have anything she wanted, but it is that discipline that keeps her so well and so healthy.”
When Thanksgiving or Christmas rolls around, what kind of food does the Queen like to indulge in for the festive period? Perhaps it’s no surprise that the holidays often mean a lavish roast, but the meat on display might be not what you expected.
Pheasant, a special kind of game fowl, is one of the meats on the menu, and as McGrady reveals: “The royals are devoted to game caught on the grounds.”
As you’ve learned by now, the key to longevity is to eat healthily and heartily, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every once in a while.
And the Queen does not hold back when it comes to delectable desserts: a slice of chocolate cake is her guilty pleasure, leaving her plate entirely clean after a good dinner.
“I have even packed half a cake into ‘Ascot boxes’ to send along with other provisions to Windsor Castle for the queen’s teas during the weekend,” revealed a former chef McGrady. I really would like to try one of those royal cakes.
The likelihood is that in our lives, we probably won’t be able to dine with the Queen at any point in time.
Now, though, you can have an idea of what her day’s like, and maybe even join in with the more affordable menu items. Isn’t that awesome?