Skip to main content

Although many royals share some similarities with one another, they do not all have the same eating habits. Former royal chef Darren McGrady f has revealed some interesting tidbits about the way famous royals consume food. In particular, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II have eating habits that were quite different.

Princess Diana wearing a blue outfit, Queen Elizabeth wearing a purple outfit with a purple hat
(L) Princess Diana | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images, (R) Queen Elizabeth | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Princess Diana was more health-conscious than Queen Elizabeth

According to McGrady’s website, he became a royal chef in 1982, when he was recruited to work at Buckingham Palace for the queen and her husband, the late Prince Philip. Then, in 1993, he went to Kensington Palace to work for Diana.

McGrady has since shared that his cooking changed after moving from Buckingham Palace to Kensington Palace because Diana was rather health-conscious.

“For the most part, it was vegetarian dishes—something like the stuffed bell pepper, something like stuffed eggplant,” McGrady said in a Delish video. He added, “And all of her food contained sort of very little fats, certainly no creams or butters or anything like that.”

Diana also reportedly told McGrady, “Darren, you take care of all the fats. I’ll take care of the carbs at the gym.”

Meanwhile, in another video, McGrady revealed that Queen Elizabeth had a different approach. He said, “One of the things I soon learned working for the queen was that all of the dishes were rich in cream and butter and fat. Calories really didn’t matter. We could use as much cream and butter in the dishes as we wanted to.”

Queen Elizabeth followed the menu more closely than Princess Diana

McGrady shared that the staff who cook for royals would prepare menus in advance. However, according to McGrady, it was difficult to follow the schedule when cooking at Kensington Palace for Diana.

“We did the same menu book for Princess Diana, or at least we tried to,” McGrady said. “The princess, though, never stuck to it. The queen, religious, whatever you put on there, three days ahead, she had. Princess Diana, no way. ‘I’m not in the mood for this today. I don’t want this. Can I have liver and onions? Can I have stuffed bell pepper?’”

He continued, “The menu book was a waste of time, really, but we still had to do it.”

Queen Elizabeth avoided 1 food problem that affected Princess Diana


Princess Diana Said 1 Tragic Event in Her Childhood Taught Her How to Relate to Other People

McGrady revealed in a video on his YouTube channel that he once made a mistake by sharing Diana’s food preference. He recalled that Diana’s charities often called to ask about Diana’s favorite food. At one point, he told them that she liked salmon.

He shared, “About two weeks later, she came into the kitchen and she said, ‘Oh, Darren, what’s for lunch? I’m starving! Please tell me it’s not salmon. What is it with salmon and you chefs? Everywhere I go these days, everyone’s serving salmon.’”

Afterward, McGrady updated her food preference to chicken, and he made sure to change it every week.

Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth does not share her favorite food for this exact reason. Former royal correspondent Gordon Raynor once said (via Express), “As one of her staff told me, ‘If she said she had a favourite meal she would never get served anything else.’”