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Updated December 25th, 2023 at 18:28 IST

What King Charles, family will eat this Christmas: Ex-Chef Reveals

A former Royal Family chef, Darren McGrady, hailing from Nottinghamshire, has unveiled the Christmas menu for the King and his family.

Manasvi Asthana
Ex-chef reveals Christmas menu for King Charles this year.
Ex-chef reveals Christmas menu for King Charles this year. | Image:AP
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A former Royal Family chef, Darren McGrady, hailing from Nottinghamshire, has unveiled the Christmas menu for the King and his family. Contrary to expectations, it is not as extravagant as one might think. McGrady, who has served the late Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana, shared insights into approximately seven Christmas dinners he has prepared for the royal family throughout his career.

At the age of 61, the chef disclosed that the royal family adheres to tradition during the festive season. McGrady shared that the menu has remained consistent throughout his time as the family's chef and it closely mirrors the meal enjoyed by many Britons in their homes.

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''They've always been very traditional, so the royals eat the same things every year. They're no different to most families in not wanting to mess around with the food at Christmas,'' he told a local media outlet.

Separate breakfast for men and women

Nevertheless, McGrady recounted an unusual tradition during his tenure the practice of men and women having separate breakfasts. Men were treated to a full English breakfast featuring eggs, bacon, mushrooms, kippers and grilled kidneys. In contrast, the royal ladies reportedly preferred a "light breakfast" consisting of sliced fruit, half a grapefruit, toast and coffee served in their rooms. The family typically follows this routine, attending church before returning for lunch.

Menu for the Royal Christmas lunch

''It was the same meal every year. They're 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,'' McGrady added.

The festive turkey is accompanied by a spread of mashed and roast potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, and bread sauce. Complementing these delights are vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, and roast parsnips. Past Christmas drinks have featured a classic gin and Dubonnet cocktail, along with a glass of Gewurztraminer, a German white wine.

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Brandy soaked pudding for desserts

Following the meal, they indulge in a classic Christmas pudding adorned with holly, soaked in brandy, and theatrically presented as the palace steward carries it, ablaze, into the Royal dining room.

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After lunch rituals

After the festive lunch, the royals traditionally take a stroll around Sandringham Estate before returning to watch the Queen's speech. However, this year, King Charles will deliver his first Christmas speech since ascending to the throne.

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Menu for Royal Christmas dinner

''For the Christmas Eve dinner, we'd serve a fish course, salad, and then often venison from the Sandringham estate. Dessert was typically a tarte tatin or chocolate perfection pie, which Queen Elizabeth loved. Chocolate was one of her biggest weaknesses,'' the Darren revealed.

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Published December 25th, 2023 at 18:28 IST

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