Health & Diet

Trick to reaching age 95: The Queen’s ‘repertoire of dishes’ including ‘her favourites’

Royal duty will transition away from the Queen says Jennie Bond

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The 95-year-old Queen has a team of royal chefs who cook for her daily. The British monarch has experienced a slight setback with her health in recent weeks, but instead of merely resting, the great-grandmother is still conducting engagements. Her Majesty loves spending time outdoors walking her dogs and riding horses, so all that fresh air no doubt contributes to her strong immune system. The Queen also eats a healthy, balanced diet.

Queen Elizabeth has a team of talented chefs at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle who cater for her personal meals and banquets.

Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously said a red leather-bound book of menus, written in French, would be sent up to the Queen each week, containing a wide variety of recipes.

“We prepared the menus three days ahead so we could get the food in,” Darren said.

He continued: “The chefs would pick the menus and she would put a line through the ones she didn’t want.

“Sometimes she’d put a line through it all and put something different – like if she was having dinner with Prince Andrew, his favourite was Crème Brulee with Sandringham oranges.”


The Queen reportedly starts her day with Earl Grey tea, minus milk and sugar, and a side of biscuits. She then takes her main breakfast in her private dining room in Buckingham Palace. Cereal, yoghurt, toast and marmalade are said to be the Queen’s favourites.

Queen Elizabeth also likes fish for breakfast, as revealed in Dinner at Buckingham Palace, a book based on the diaries and personal recollections of royal servant Charles Oliver.

An extract told how the Queen “has been partial to kippers since the war years” when she and Princess Margaret were at Windsor Castle.

“Kippers, in a number of uncomplicated variations, have remained a favourite with the Queen ever since – for breakfast, as a savoury or a late-night supper. The Queen is also fond of smoked haddock as a breakfast dish.”


The monarch is believed to keep things simple for lunch, often enjoying a plate of fish and vegetables.

Darren told ‘House and Garden’ a typical lunch would be Dover sole on a bed of wilted spinach.

The royal is said to avoid starchy food such as pasta and potatoes when eating alone.


The monarch’s supper tastes are varied and include a combination of meat or fish and vegetables.

“For a main course she loved game, things like Gaelic steak, fillet steak with a mushroom whisky sauce, especially if we did it with venison,” Darren has revealed.

“For a first course she loved the Gleneagles pâté, which is smoked salmon, trout and mackerel. She loved using ingredients off the estate and so if we had salmon from Balmoral from the River Dee, she’d have that, it was one of her favourites.”

He added: “We used a repertoire of dishes, mainly British and French food. We cooked a lot of traditional French food like halibut on a bed of spinach with a Mornay sauce.”


For dessert, the Queen is said to love strawberries from Balmoral and white peaches grown at Windsor Castle. She also has a soft spot for chocolate. Darren said: “She is absolutely a chocoholic.

“Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose, especially chocolate perfection pie.”


Royal butler Grant Harrold once spoke about the Queen’s favourite tea in BBC Three comedy show Miss Holland, which aired in 2018.

Grant revealed: “I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer. It is also a myth that members of royalty use their pinky when drinking, I have never seen that happen once.”

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