Former Royal Chef Says Princess Diana Was ‘Too Scared’ to Ask for Seconds at Dinner in Front of Queen Elizabeth

It’s no secret that members of the royal family have chefs on staff to prepare all their meals. Now one of those former chefs, who worked for both Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, is revealing that the Princess of Wales wasn’t ever comfortable asking for a second helping of food while at the dinner table with her mother-in-law.

Darren McGrady was a cook at Buckingham Palace for more than a decade before he was transferred to Kensington Palace where he worked as Princess Diana’s personal chef up until her death in 1997. He recently spoke about his old boss never asking for seconds as well as inconsistencies in the movie Spencer.

Princess Diana seated at a state dinner during royal tour of Canada
Princess Diana seated at a state dinner during a royal tour of Canada | Tim Graham/Getty Images

Rules for dining with Queen Elizabeth

There are a few known rules for anyone and everyone who dines with Queen Elizabeth.

For starters, no one can begin eating or finish their meal before the queen. Also, when someone needs to leave the table, they must excuse themselves a certain way. According to The Mirror, that person needs to say “excuse me” and then cross their knife and fork as a signal to staffers that they are not finished eating.

And when it comes to seating arrangements, the royal family matriarch makes sure that the number of people seated at a table for dinner is always less or more than 13. Royal expert Paul Dampier told The Sun“[The queen] won’t let 13 people sit down at a dinner table, not because she is superstitious but in case guests are.”

Chef says Princess Diana was afraid to ask for seconds during dinner

Princess Diana at a banquet wearing a blue chiffon evening dress
Princess Diana at a banquet wearing a blue chiffon evening dress | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

While there is not a set rule against asking for a second helping at dinner, McGrady claims it’s something the late Princess of Wales could never bring herself to do. He explained that sitting at the table with the monarch stressed Diana out a bit so she was too afraid to ask for more. However, McGrady was certain he would see her later on that evening.

“I knew the princess would come down to the kitchen for seconds,” McGrady stated (per Express). “She was too scared to ask for seconds in front of the queen.” But he says she would later eat the leftovers on the kitchen table and discuss Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables with him.

McGrady points out some inconsistencies in the ‘Spencer’ movie

Photo of Princess Diana's former personal chef Darren McGrady smiling as he promote his cookbook
Photo of Princess Diana’s former personal chef Darren McGrady smiling as he promotes his cookbook | Aaron Lynett/Toronto Star via Getty Images

McGrady also spoke about being portrayed in the Pablo Larraín film Spencer.

He said that he had “goosebumps” watching the movie but pointed out a couple of inconsistencies saying: “Though Sean Harris [the actor who plays him in the film] called her ‘Diana,’ I respected her title far too much for that — I always called her Your Royal Highness.”

McGrady also admitted that the Sandringham Estate, where the movie is supposed to be set, only had five chefs not the much larger crew shown in the film.

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