You’d think the British royal family would eat the freshest foods in the most elegant way possible but a former royal chef has lifted the lid on some of The Firm’s table-time traits.
During an interview with American breakfast show Today, the queen's former head chef, Darren McGrady, revealed that her daughter, Princess Anne (70), likes to eat bananas long past their sell-by date.
“[Princess Anne] almost always preferred the bananas almost black – overripe – because they digest easier,” he says.
Darren says the ends of the banana are first chopped off and then the banana itself would be sliced down the middle for it to be peeled.
The peel is then opened and the banana is cut into circles and eaten with a fork.
Darren, who worked in Buckingham Palace’s kitchen from 1982 to 1993, also shared other details of the royal family’s eating habits.
At a royal banquet, fruit is usually served after dessert, but hands aren’t allowed to touch it.
“They [people present at the royal banquet] have a dessert knife and fork, a small plate and a finger bowl of water – which some guests have been known to drink,” says Darren, who owns a catering company in Dallas, Texas.
In a previous interview with Marie Claire magazine, Darren said Queen Elizabeth (95) refuses to eat eggs that have a white shell – only brown shell ones will do.
"Breakfast was simple for Her Majesty. Some Kellogg's cereal from a plastic container, which she'd serve herself. And some Darjeeling tea,” he said. Garlic was a no-no at the queen’s table. “She hated the smell of it, she hated the taste of it.”
Darren also said the queen’s late husband, Prince Philip, who died last month aged 99, didn’t like the organic hampers their son Prince Charles was often gifted.
“We always used to get a hamper from Harrods – a thank-you gift for shopping with them. Prince Philip came into the kitchen and there were two hampers.
“He said, ‘Oh, is this a Harrods hamper?” I said, ‘No, your highness, this is a hamper the Prince of Wales brought with him.’
“He looked puzzled so I opened it up and said, ‘It’s all organic.’ And he said, ‘Oh, bloody organic!’ And just shook his head and walked out.”
Royal expert Jeremy Paxman has some insight into the future king too, saying Charles (72) is particular about how his eggs are cooked.
“Because his staff were never quite sure whether the egg would be precisely to the satisfactory hardness, a series of eggs was cooked and laid out in an ascending row of numbers,” Paxman says.
“If the prince felt that No 5 was too runny, he could knock the top off No 6 or 7.”
Clearly not a fan of having his eggs all in one basket then.