Princess Diana Let William and Harry Eat Pizza and Burgers in Front of the TV on Saturday Nights: Royal Chef

She wanted them to have a normal childhood.

Princes William and Harry with their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) in the garden of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, 18th July 1986. William is wearing a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham / Getty)

Growing up royal—especially if you happen to be the heir to the throne—is probably the furthest from normal upbringings can get.

Princess Diana was very aware of that reality while she was raising her sons Princes William and Harry, and she wanted to counteract it in any way she could, making sure they had a ton of normal experiences too—starting with the food they ate.

"I know it sounds dramatic to say, but the way Princess Diana was bringing the children into the next century—she was able to say, 'I know they’re royal children, but they’re normal children too,'" former royal chef Darren McGrady told Coffee Friend (opens in new tab). "It wasn’t the case of having to dress for dinner or sit at the table and be served formally by butlers."

It's in that spirit that the mom and two boys shared the sweetest Saturday night tradition together.

"On a Saturday night, you’d see Diana sitting down in front of the TV eating dinner with her boys, it just made everything so normal," McGrady said. "Nanny always suggested that the boys have roasted chicken, green vegetables and healthy food, but on a Saturday night the boys could have pizza, the boys could have hamburgers and fried chicken, and things like that.

"It was a special treat. It was Diana’s way of showing them, 'you’re children too,' and we see a lot of that with Kate now too."

Chef McGrady has a point there: Prince William—now all grown up with kids of his own—and Kate Middleton also make sure George, Charlotte and Louis get to do normal kiddy things often. There was that one time they took them for burgers at a Norfolk pub, and that time the Duke of Cambridge was spotted accompanying Charlotte to a pizza party. The duchess also recently bought her two eldest kids a couple of Mr. Whippy ice creams. Good for them!

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.