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There is one dish that is made fit for a queen.
Darren McGrady, Queen Elizabeth’s former private chef, claimed that the reigning monarch has eaten jam sandwiches every day since she was a toddler. He revealed that the 96-year-old favors a strawberry preserve made from fruits picked on her Balmoral Castle grounds in Scotland.
“The queen was served jam pennies in the nursery as a little girl,” said McGrady in a recently surfaced video from his YouTube channel published in July of last year. “She’s had them for afternoon tea ever since.”
According to McGrady, the sandwiches are made from bread with a little butter and a spread of jam, then cut out into circles the size of an old British penny.
As part of the genteel tradition of afternoon tea, McGrady, who was a chef to the queen for 11 years, also revealed the monarch’s solution to a familiar quandary for British scone lovers: jam first or cream?
“The queen was always jam first,” he said in a separate video. “The jam went on followed by that delicious, clotted cream.”
As well as the preserve, Elizabeth has always been partial to fresh strawberries.
“The queen would eat strawberries three or four nights a week in Balmoral if they were in season,” he said.
However, woe betides anyone who tried to give her out-of-season berries. A January batch at the supper table would mean “off with your head,” joked McGrady.
Buckingham Palace would not comment on the queen’s sandwich preferences.
Back in July 2021, McGrady spoke to Fox News Digital about cooking for Princess Diana, as well as her sons Prince William and Prince Harry.
McGrady worked in the kitchen as the princess’ chef during four of her birthdays. During those years, he said Diana did not make a big fuss about it. Instead, she would celebrate “quietly” with friends, or if her birthday fell on a weekday, she would simply have dinner at home with her boys.
“It wasn’t a big celebration for her,” said McGrady. “She would maybe on her birthday go somewhere like the San Lorenzo [restaurant] with a friend and just have a quiet lunch. In the evening, she would usually more often than not shower or have a bath and just throw on a white towel and robe, towel dry her hair, pop into the kitchen and say, ‘Ok, ready for dinner.’”
“It was very quiet, very sort of low-key,” McGrady added. “I think she was like most women that it’s another birthday, and, ‘I don’t want to celebrate getting older.'”
Despite her reserved attitude, McGrady joked that Diana’s birthdays served as one of his busiest days of the year at the palace.
“It was the most energetic workout I ever got in that kitchen on the second floor,” McGrady laughed, noting that it wasn’t exactly because he was “rattling pans in the kitchen.”
“Every five minutes it was one of the charities or a friend sending flowers, so I’d have to run downstairs, open the door, take the flowers, bring them back in and upstairs, and then the doorbell would go again,” he said.
The “Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen” author added that if the princess were still alive, he believed she would spend her day enjoying time with her grandchildren, especially her granddaughters.
“The princess always, always, always wanted a little girl,” he said. “She held my daughter Kelly as a baby just after [my wife] Wendy and Kelly came out of the hospital. She just really, really wanted a little girl. I think she would have been spending as much time as possible certainly with Charlotte and hopefully Lilibet, too, just having a fun time with those young girls. The boys as well, obviously, but she loved the little girls.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.