Yeah, they may be royals, but sometimes you just want your favorite comfort food, you know? Though most royals have chefs at their disposal, the Princess of Wales does her own grocery shopping, and the Prince of Wales can apparently cook, too, even using said cooking skills to woo the then Kate Middleton with dishes like spaghetti Bolognese during their time at the University of St. Andrews—when they were falling in love. King Charles is a proponent of organic foods, and Kate’s favorite dessert is a simple sticky toffee pudding. What are some other relatable foods the royals love?
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
A favorite amongst the entire royal family is the chocolate biscuit cake, a snack that The Daily Mail reports “has become irresistible to generations of royal diners.” Former royal chef Darren McGrady remembers that “the crunchy chocolate treat was a staple at the Queen’s afternoon teas,” the outlet reports, and that Her late Majesty would never leave the dessert uneaten, “meaning a chef would have to travel with the cake if the Queen ever left the Palace while the cake had not been finished.” (Serious business!) “Now the chocolate biscuit cake is the only cake that goes back again and again and again every day until it’s all gone,” McGrady said. “She’ll take a small slice every day until eventually there is only one tiny piece, but you have to send that up. She wants to finish the whole of that cake.” The late Queen passed the love of the treat to grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, and it was “a firm favorite in the royal nursery,” said Carolyn Robb, a former chef to King Charles and Princess Diana. William is such a fan that he chose it as his groom’s cake for his 2011 wedding—complete with 1,700 biscuits (!).
Fish and Chips
One of the most traditionally British foods is fish and chips, and the meal “is as ubiquitous in the royal household as it is in British culture, with lines of royals reported to enjoy the dish,” The Daily Mail reports. Queen Camilla said in an interview with her son (and food writer) Tom Parker-Bowles that fish and chips wrapped in paper is one of her favorite foods: “That smell,” she said. “You cannot beat proper fish and chips.” William and Kate also love it—while in their early days of dating at the University of St. Andrews, they were “regular customers” at Ansthruther Fish Bar, where they ordered takeaway haddock wrapped in paper, “which they ate on a bench on the pier before going back for ice cream,” The Daily Mail writes. Her late Majesty also enjoyed a fish and chips takeaway when in Scotland: “She very occasionally treats herself to fish and chips when at Balmoral,” a source said. “A footman is dispatched to get it from the local town of Ballater.”
Can’t get much more relatable than this—even though Kate was once stumped when asked if Queen Elizabeth had ever eaten pizza (“That’s such a good question,” she said. “I don’t know. Maybe next time I see her, shall I ask?”), there’s no doubt that William and Harry love it. “I didn’t start really cooking pizzas until I moved to Kensington Palace,” McGrady said. “William and Harry would have had it every night if Nanny had let them. They loved it.” (By the way, about Her late Majesty? “I cooked for the Queen for 11 years and never served her pizza once,” McGrady said. “The Queen didn’t even have it on the menu when we were in Palermo, Sicily on HMY Britannia. The chefs had to go ashore after royal dinner to try it.”) Kate herself is a fan, revealing that instead of pepperoni atop her pizza, she prefers bacon.
Many royals’ breakfasts center around eggs, and Charles, according to the book On Royalty by Jeremy Paxman, demanded seven eggs be boiled for him every day, only eating one to make sure it was cooked to perfection. “Because [Charles’] 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.” (Charles refuted this claim, by the way.) His wife Camilla enjoys scrambled eggs for breakfast, and, when the late Queen felt like changing up her usual breakfast of Special K and fresh fruit, she went for scrambled eggs as an indulgence. “Ma’am loved to sometimes start the day with a protein packed breakfast, and these eggs were tailored to the way that she particularly liked them,” said Australian nutritionist Lee Holmes. Her late Majesty liked her eggs with nutmeg and lemon rind, and the eggs would sometimes be served with kippers or smoked salmon and a grating of truffle.
This dish is said to be almost birthday boy Prince George’s favorite, which celebrity chef Aldo Zilli was told directly by George’s dad, William. “[William’s] amazing,” he said. “I’m waiting for the call, because apparently his little boy’s favorite is spaghetti carbonara, so I’m waiting for the call to go and cook it for him. If George has my carbonara, he will never have another one, so I need to go and make it. Let’s get the ball rolling. Send me to the Palace to cook!” Actually, Kate revealed, she and her children make pasta themselves—including making pasta sauce from scratch. “She was telling us how much her children love cooking and how they cook for her,” said Matthew Kleiner-Mann, chief executive of the Ivy Learning Trust, who met Kate at an engagement in 2019. “They made cheesy pasta the other day. One stirs the flour, one puts the milk and butter in, and they make salads and stuff.”
It’s impossible to forget Harry and Meghan Markle’s “engagement chicken”—the couple were making roast chicken at home at Nottingham Cottage during a “cozy night” in when Harry popped the question. When the couple spoke to the BBC during their first joint interview after getting engaged, Harry said it was “just a standard, typical night for us.” Meghan added “Just a cozy night, it was—what we were doing, just roasting chicken,” before Harry added he was “roasting a chicken, trying to roast a chicken.” Before her marriage to Harry, Meghan revealed that the dish is her go-to dinner party meal to impress guests: “There is honestly nothing as delicious, or as impressive, in my opinion, as a perfectly roasted chicken,” she said. “It’s a game-changer. I bring that to dinner parties and make a lot of friends.”
William and Kate love to sit in front of the television and order takeaway curry, they revealed in a Radio 1 interview in 2017. (Their shows of choice at the time? Homeland or Game of Thrones.) Interviewer Scott Mills asked “So do you ever order takeaways? What’s your favorite?” to which Kate responded, “Absolutely and curry—definitely!” When Mills asked if local takeaways thought an order coming from Kensington Palace (where they lived at the time) was a joke, William explained “It doesn’t usually get ordered to the Palace, to be honest. Normally someone goes and picks it up.” Kate also makes curry for the family but has to cater to each person’s spice preferences. In 2019, she admitted to liking “quite hot” curry, and that daughter Princess Charlotte is also “pretty good” with heat. “It’s so hard cooking curry in the family,” she said. “The children have a portion with no spice.” Referring to William, she said “Yours is medium, and I quite like it hot. Still, Charlotte is pretty good with heat.”
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Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.
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