FORMER palace chef reveals what the Queen and royals eat on Christmas Day, as HRH returns to Sandringham to celebrate


ALTHOUGH many expect only the most extravagant fine-dining to take place in Sandringham with British monarchs this year, a former chef reveals that the royal Christmas lunch is very traditional.

Darren McGrady who previously worked in the royal kitchens explained how staff are likely to be extremely busy getting Sandringham ready for the festive celebrations.

The queen doting on her grandson

Mr McGrady explained that the family usually dine on a big Christmas lunch after the church celebrations.

He said they would previously eat “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” reported the Mirror.

The former chef also explained that the queen enjoyed a very traditional Turkey dinner, and they do not have ham as he explains the family’s festive meal choices are “very boring.”

“We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children’s nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.”


Adding: “The turkey is served with mashed and roast potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Vegetables include brussels sprouts, carrots and roast parsnips.”

For dessert, the chef reveals that the choice is also traditional, as the family enjoy a Christmas pudding, decorated with holly, dusted in brandy and presented by a steward while it is flaming.

Darren McGrady said that the family have opted for the same meal choices “year after year.”

This Christmas will however be undoubtedly different for the queen as last year HRH and her husband Prince Philip were unable to spend Christmas with the family, due to Covid restrictions.

The biggest change for the HRH, however, will be not having her husband by her side this Christmas, as he passed away in April this year.

In contrast to Mr McGrady’s experience, the sun previously reported how another former chef, Mark Tindall, revealed that the royals were served a cold buffet on Christmas day, and staff were given the day off.

Speaking on JOE UK’s House of Rugby podcast, Mike, 41, shared what happened for the royal family in 2018.

He said: “Christmas Day is a little quieter because it’s actually a cold buffet because they give everyone the day off, and their big day is Christmas Eve.”

Mike added that they watch the Queen’s speech together “with a little glass of something”.

During the monarch’s traditional festive feast, the Queen sits the children in a separate room and there are no crackers on the table. 

He said: “This is the other one, the family lunch, there must be about 70 of us there – there are seven tables and then the kiddies have their own little one in a different room.

“I was on Prince Charles table. It was lovely, really good.”

The queen gives a Christmas speech every day

For more Christmas stories… Primark has launched its Christmas PJs and there are matching sizes for all the family from just £6

More on food, see how one Mum reveals a clever hack to make sure kids who only like fast food ALWAYS eat their dinner – and it’s really easy.

And in the spirit of giving…Mum is stunned by Aldi shopper’s heartwarming gesture – which she only realises when she goes to pay for her £100 shop


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