What the Royals' Favorite Foods Say About Them, According to a Behavioral Expert

From marmalade to matcha.

The Queen Attends A Service At Westminster Abbey Marking The Centenary Of WW1 Armistice
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You know what they say: You are what you eat.

For behavioral expert Darren Stanton, this certainly holds true when it comes to the Royal Family.

Speaking to Marie Claire on behalf of Coffee (opens in new tab)Friend (opens in new tab), Stanton went on a deep dive through the food preferences various British royals have expressed in the past. And by the way, he also previously analyzed their drink orders if you're interested.

Although the Windsors tend to remain pretty discreet about what they eat—and have to follow a bunch of weird food rules—there was still plenty of material for the expert to work with. Here's what he had to say.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

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Kate Middleton and Prince William

What the duchess eats: porridge, curry, homemade family recipes, raw foods, matcha smoothies, plant-based lunches with vegetables and pulses

Unlike older members of the Royal Family, the Duchess of Cambridge isn't opposed to a little food fad. "Kate’s favorites are much more in line with what a lot of people would eat these days and she’s partial to trying new food trends, such as a raw food diet, plant-based meals or matcha in her coffee or green smoothies," Stanton explains.

"However, her diet consists of a lot of the nation’s old favourites too, like curry and sticky toffee pudding—it’s hearty food and very relatable. Kate’s food tastes could suggest why she is arguably one of the most popular royal family members: She is in touch with what the masses like; she can relate to them and them to her."

What the duke eats: likes to grill/BBQ food

The Duke of Cambridge, like many a dad before him, can often be found manning the grill. "William, meanwhile, likes to barbeque," Stanton says. "Running a family barbeque means you like to take charge and aren’t afraid to be the one who makes all the decisions—traits he will no doubt need and rely on when it comes to being king.

"A barbecue is often no frills, very homely and serves up hearty foods: What you see is what you get. This is psychologically quite consistent with Kate, so this could be why she and William are a couple totally matched and in pretty much every way."

meghan markle prince harry

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

What the duke eats: stopped eating pizza and fast food, eats healthier foods like quinoa and kale, traditional Sunday roasts

What the duchess eats: vegan/gluten-free meals in the week, oatmeal with banana, hot water and lemon, homemade pastas, parmesan cheese, roasted chicken

Much like his drink order (green juice), the Duke of Sussex' new diet is all about the SoCal-healthy life. "In recent years, it’s reported Harry has ditched junk food, including pizza, and is now embracing the Californian lifestyle by eating healthier foods, like plenty of fruit, and sipping on green smoothies," Stanton says.

Still, the Sussexes certainly don't ban carbs in their house. "Meghan, meanwhile, dines on pastas and plenty of parmesan cheese, especially homemade dishes she can conjure up herself in the kitchen, the recipes of which she previously shared on her blog," Stanton says.

"Meghan seems quite adventurous and she displays this during the time she spends in the kitchen. she’s passionate about creating and trying out different meals—showing she is open to new opportunities and change.

"Conscious of the food she eats and wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle, like many in California, it’s said Meghan eats both vegan and gluten-free meals during the week. At the weekend, she’s happy to push the boat out and indulge in things she would usually avoid—this ability to relax typical habits demonstrates her ability to be flexible and have fun while still maintaining discipline.

"This idea lends itself to her personality where Meghan has a sense of seriousness about her, but at the same time is not afraid to let her hair down—and we see snippets of this when she is pictured laughing and joking alongside Harry.

"Harry’s change in diet could be indicative of Meghan’s influence on him within their relationship to be more adventurous. Despite moving Stateside, however, Harry still longs for a touch of tradition and is said to love a Sunday roast, with him and Meghan often cooking a roasted chicken together. A typically British dish, not only is this reflective of a home connection he still holds dear, suggesting he misses parts of his life back in the UK, but also signifies how Harry chases feelings of nostalgia too."

queen elizabeth ii

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The Queen

What the monarch eats: cereal, toast with marmalade, kippers (fish traditionally eaten for breakfast), fresh fish and vegetables, Earl Grey tea

After 70 years of reign and counting, The Queen is one of the most enduring figures in the world—and her consistency is part of why people are so devoted to her.

"The Queen’s food choices go all the way back to her childhood," Stanton says. "Kippers for breakfast were a traditional choice during the war and she would have been introduced to them by her father no doubt.

"Just like we look at a photograph or hear a piece of music, a certain food can evoke a memory, keep the past alive and trigger nostalgia. Lots of the foods we eat have a psychological element to them. The Queen is said to enjoy dark chocolate—again this could stem back to it being a scarcity when food was rationed during the war.

"It’s also said that the Queen is not a fan of garlic and most royals will avoid eating it ahead of public appearances. It’s common etiquette not to have garlic or spice on your breath when interacting with other leaders of important figures and it shows the Queen has a consideration for others, as well as the willingness to uphold the highest standard." Sounds about right.

charles camilla

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Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles

What the prince eats: eggs and organic foods

What the duchess eats: spicy and garlic-laden foods, fresh homegrown vegetables

While the Prince of Wales is quite the British traditionalist, his wife likes a touch of adventure on her plate. "Charles has a very simple palette, enjoying eggs for breakfast, while Camilla enjoys spicier food and especially garlic—despite members of the royal family usually choosing to avoid it," Stanton says. "The differences in their food tastes could be reflective of their different personalities and how one complements the other."

"While Charles is more regimented in nature, Camilla isn’t afraid to take risks, but that doesn’t stop the pair from having fun and genuinely enjoying each other’s company. Such differences seem to be what makes their marriage work so well."

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

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.