- Image: Joel Rouse (Ministry of Defence), and nagualdesign, OGL 3 <http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3>, via Wikimedia Commons

According to royal chefs, this is what the Queen eats every day

Several former employees, including former royal chef Darren McGrady, have revealed the secrets surrounding the now 95-year old monarch's diet

17h ago

With Queen Elizabeth II now in her 95th year of life, a lot of people will obviously have questions about how she's been able to have such incredible longevity. Of course, some of those questions will be about what the Queen actually eats. That's a question that several former employees of the royal family, including former royal chef Darren McGrady and former royal servant Charles Oliver, have revealed the answers to over the years.

According to Brian Hoey in his book At Home with the Queen, she likes to start off the day with a pre-breakfast of tea (Earl Grey, no milk or sugar) and biscuits, the scraps of which she shares with her beloved corgis. After that she'll have a proper breakfast, something which she would have shared with her husband Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. Her Majesty's favourite breakfast choices are said to be cereal, yoghurt, toast and marmalade. When the queen has cereal, she apparently insists on having it served from Tupperware as she believes that it keeps the cereal fresher for longer. Charles Oliver also revealed in his book Dinner at Buckingham Palace that the Queen is also partial to having fish for breakfast. She particularly is fond of kippers, something which reportedly dates back to the war years when her and Princess Margaret were at Windsor Castle, and smoked haddock.

When it comes to lunch, the Queen likes to keep things fairly simple. Darren McGrady said to House and Garden that a typical lunch for Her Majesty would be fish and vegetables, such as Dover sole on a bed of wilted spinach. You'll no doubt be noticing a fairly fish-focused theme here! According to her cousin Margaret Rhodes, the Queen also likes to have a bit of a drink before lunch. Her tipple of choice before lunch is gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and lots of ice, whilst during lunch she'll often treat herself to a glass of wine. Very fancy indeed!

As you'll no doubt expect, the Queen is an ardent lover of Afternoon Tea. She takes part in this typically British ritual every single day and, of course, her favourite Earl Grey tea is always present. Darren McGrady has said that the Queen's favourite cakes to have during Afternoon Tea are honey and cream sponge, ginger cake and a chocolate biscuit cake that has become world-renowned thanks to her grandson Prince William having it served at his wedding a decade ago! As for her choice of sandwiches, Her Majesty likes the classic cucumber, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise and ham and mustard options for her sandwich fillings. She is also a big fan of jam pennies; these are small raspberry jam sandwiches cut into the size and shape of an old English penny. When it comes to the crusts on her sandwiches, she prefers to have them cut off.

As for dinner, that's where the Queen's tastes can be quite varied. Her dinners are usually based around some kind of game or fish, using ingredients from the royal estates if they're available, and use traditional British or French cooking. "For a main course she loved game, things like Gaelic steak, fillet steak with a mushroom whisky sauce, especially if we did it with venison," Darren McGrady has revealed. "For a first course she loved the Gleneagles pâté, which is smoked salmon, trout and mackerel. She loved using ingredients off the estate and so if we had salmon from Balmoral from the River Dee, she'd have that, it was one of her favourites." She'll often also have a glass of her favourite German sweet wine alongside her dinner.

For dessert, the Queen's favourites are said to be strawberries from the estate at Balmoral and white peaches grown at Windsor Castle, as well as anything vaguely chocolatey. "She is absolutely a chocoholic," McGrady recently said to Hello! magazine. "Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose, especially chocolate perfection pie."

According to Margaret Rhodes, the Queen likes to finish her day off with some more alcoholic beverages. She usually likes to have a dry martini and a glass of champagne and her favourite brands include Bollinger, Lanson and Krug. All three of those brands have, unsurprisingly, been granted royal warrants!

The Queen's penchant for an alcoholic drink or two have led to some sensationalised reports about how much she drinks over the years, something which McGrady has been quick to speak out about. Speaking to CNN about reports that the Queen drunk four cocktails a day, he said that "She'd be pickled if she drank that much. All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That's her favourite drink." He also said that whilst she does like to have a glass of wine with her dinner, "she certainly doesn't drink four glasses a day."

Whilst the Queen might seem like quite the foodie considering her varied and at times pretty fancy diet, according to McGrady the opposite is true. He is adamant to point out that "the Queen is not a foodie", unlike Prince Phillip who was a proper food lover and "would stand and talk food all day." McGrady put it another way very succinctly when he said that "The Queen eats to live whereas Prince Philip lives to eat."

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