Former royal chef Darren McGrady revealed the Queen’s particular tastes and how growing up in the war influenced her habits – as well as Prince William and Prince Harry’s favourite snacks when they were young. Speaking to coffee machine retailer Coffee Friend, Chef McGrady said Her Majesty had afternoon tea “every day, wherever she was in the world”.
He added: “The Queen loved afternoon tea, I would say it’s probably one of her favourite meals.
“Certainly when I was there, she would sit down religiously for tea.”
Chef McGrady went on to share how the Queen took her favourite afternoon treat. He said: “There had to be two types of sandwiches on the menu, there were scones – one day they would be plain scones, the next day they would be fruit scones with raisins.
“It was really important the way they alternated. So much so, that the chefs at Buckingham Palace would ring Windsor Castle on a Monday morning and ask what flavour scones the Queen had the day before, just to be sure we didn’t serve the same. I’m not sure what would have happened if we did, but we always checked.”
He added that there would be a small cake with afternoon tea, including chocolate biscuit cake, which the chef said was “one of her favourites”.
Meanwhile, Chef McGrady revealed the secrets behind the Queen’s preferred cup of tea, saying: “Hot tea has to be hot. Tea has to be absolute boiling water poured over the top of it, it has to steep for five minutes, that is the most important part.
“It’s really, really important when making tea is that it’s made in a teapot – that is a real cup of tea.”
The chef also shared that the Queen “would go and pick berries from the gardens” at Balmoral, and bring them back to the kitchen for the staff to make into jams and jellies to last all year.
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He added that Prince William and Prince Harry’s treats when they were younger used to drive their nanny “crazy”.
He shared: “During the week, Prince William and Prince Harry would be at Ludgrove at school so they wouldn’t be there for tea, it would only be at Easter or Christmas or the summer at Balmoral that they’d get to spend time with the rest of the Royal family at afternoon tea.
“A lot of the time we would actually send nursery tea separately, so the boys wouldn’t have tea with the Royal Family.
“We’d do caramel banana cake, lots of sugar, it used to drive nanny crazy, and jam tarts – traditional, authentic, British nursery food.”