The former chef to the Queen has revealed what the royals eat on Christmas Day. Picture: AFP/POOL/Yui Mok Source: AFP
This article originally appeared on news.com.au by Becky Pemberton and has been republished here with full permission.
Every family has their Christmas dining traditions when 25 December rolls in, and the royal family is no different.
But what do they tuck into on the big day? And do they indulge in cheesy Christmas movies and open stockings in their matching PJs?
Darren McGrady, former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana Princess of Wales and Princes William and Harry, revealed exactly how the elite family spends Christmas.
The 20 foot high Nordmann Fir tree is prepared for Christmas at Windsor Castle. Source: Getty Images
He said to Cosmopolitan that the family head to Sandringham House in Norfolk for the celebrations, with the Queen arriving on 19 or 20 December, and the family joining on Christmas Eve.
Presents are placed ready for family members on trestle tables at the lavish abode.
Darren revealed: “The royals are of German descent so they weave in German traditions to their celebrations.
“After afternoon tea, they open gifts on Christmas Eve, as is the German tradition. Christmas morning, the family eats a hearty breakfast before heading off to church.
The State Dining Room in Windsor Castle is decorated for the Christmas period. Picture: Jack Taylor/Getty Images. Source: Getty Images.
“After church, that’s when they have a big lunch that includes a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey, and all of your traditional side dishes like parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts and Christmas pudding with brandy butter for dessert.”
As in many households, the menu for Christmas Day doesn’t change and is the same year after year.
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Appetisers and canapes are avoided and only reserved for New Year’s Eve, but the “chocolate-loving” Queen will indulge in a dark chocolate treat over Christmas.
Another tradition that is observed by the Queen is that of the senior chef enjoying a toast with the family after serving dinner.
For dessert they have Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Source: iStock.
Darren said: “That’s the only time the chef goes into the dining room and has a glass of whiskey with the royal family. It’s one of the chef’s favourite traditions.”
Although Buckingham Palace is usually lavishly decorated, Sandringham, a private residence, has more basic decorations.
These include a Christmas tree and a large, 30-year-old silver artificial tree in the dining room.
Meghan Markle is set to break royal tradition as she plans Christmas with the Queen at Sandringham this year — a privilege usually reserved only for members of the royal family.