Recently, Queen Elizabeth’s eating habits have come under close scrutiny.
Why? Well, she’s the queen—her subjects and others around the world are interested in every last detail of her life.
She’ll eat poached or grilled fish, vegetables, and a salad, avoiding potatoes and other starches (along with the carbohydrates that come with them). Most of that food comes from her estates at Balmoral, Buckingham, and Windsor, as she prefers home-grown flavors.
“That’s it. That’s all she has,” McGrady said. “She’s very disciplined like that. She could have anything she wanted, but it is that discipline that keeps her so well and so healthy.”
The other members of the royal family generally share the queen’s preferences for lean, light food.
“The thing with Prince Philip is, he’s sort of into healthy eating, too,” McGrady said. Prince Charles “was organic before organic was even invented.”
But this culinary simplicity wasn’t always the norm. Early in McGrady’s tenure, he frequently prepared opulent, multi-course meals. When Princess Diana joined the household, McGrady was forced to learn some new dishes.
“All my recipes changed when I moved to Princess Diana,” he admitted. “She’d never eat red meat; she’d only eat chicken or fish.”
“Princess Diana inspired millions of people around the world, and she really did me, and in the years I worked for her, I saw the difference she made in people’s lives,” he added. McGrady decided to donate profits from his book, Eating Royally, to charity as a way of honoring the late princess.
Apparently, the Princess’s habits influenced the rest of the Royal Family, too.
That’s not to say that the queen doesn’t have her vices. McGrady says that she’s a chocoholicInstagram/@theroyalfamily .
“It has to be the dark chocolate, the darker the better. She wasn’t keen on milk chocolate or white chocolate.”
For what it’s worth, that habit might help to explain the queen’s extraordinary health. Cocoa is rich in flavanols, which help to protect the heart and could reduce the risk of diabetes.
As for exercise, McGrady says the queen’s habits help her keep fit.
“I don’t think she has a weight room at Buckingham Palace, but she loves horse-riding and walking the dogs,” he told CNN.
“She’s 91 years young, and she still goes horse riding. She’ll walk for miles with the dogs or just around the gardens at Buckingham Palace.”
“It always made me laugh that, you know, one day, the Queen would be at an estate banquet, and she’d be eating off Meissen china from the late 1800s, beautiful hand-painted Meissen china, with gold and silver gilt knives and forks,” McGrady said.
He followed up: “The next day, she’d be at Balmoral, and she’d be on the estate out in the hills, and she’d be eating lunch out of a Tupperware container. One day they’re normal; one day they’re royal.”