Author of Eating Royalty, Darren McGrady, has cooked a whopping seven Christmas meals for the royals - and in news that will surprise no one, it’s said that the meals have always remained very traditional.
Speaking with Hello! Online Darren revealed, “It was the same meal every year.”
“They're actually boring when it comes to festivities! They didn't do hams or anything, just traditional turkeys. We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children's nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.”
Revealing the mainstays of the Christmas menu, Darren added, “turkey, different stuffings – sage and onion, chestnut – and the traditional sides like roast potatoes, mash potatoes, parsnips and Brussels sprouts.”
And for dessert? According to Darren, it was always Christmas pudding!
“The pudding was made in pudding basins, turned out, decorated in holly, doused in brandy and then the palace steward would carry it, flaming, into the royal dining room," said Darren.
Later in the evening, after a walk around the grounds of Sandringham Estate, the royals would be treated to yet another elaborate meal in the form of a buffet.
Darren said, “When I was there Harrods would always give them a whole foie gras en croute. They'd have a whole Stilton cheese. We'd take the top off, pitchfork the top and pour port into it. It made this gorgeous spread for the crackers. It was really opulent. There was also a big York ham that was decorated.”
"Then after carving all of the meat, the Queen would then ask the steward to pour the Head Chef a drink and he'd get a whisky and they'd toast him and say thank you, and that was them saying thank you for the whole year."
How lovely! Where can we find an invite?
Darren, who has worked for both the Queen and Princes Diana, remembers the People’s Princess fondly.
He said, “She'd come into the kitchen and she used to love the crepe soufflé dessert. I'd always put that on the menu because I knew it was her favourite.”
“She would have lunch and then – bless her – she would come down into the kitchen once everyone had left the table and say, 'Ooh, is there any of the crepe soufflé left?' When the tray came back I'd always put it in the warmer because I knew she'd be down. She said, 'I love this pudding and I'm too scared to ask for seconds in front of the Queen!’”