Christmas with the royal family is described as very regimented, full of protocols and traditions that are a throwback to the Victorian day and age. Christmas Day is described much like a setting out of Downton Abbey, suggests the former royal chef, Darren McGrady.
McGrady, who has cooked about seven Christmas dinners for the royal family, describes how nothing changes; it is the same year after year. His description included calling the Christmas lunch “actually boring,” according to Hello! Online. While what the royal family sits down to eat might not be as infatuating as they way they do this.
An earlier Inquisitr article described how Prince George and Princess Charlotte have dinner in the nursery on Christmas, although there’s more to their day at the queen’s Sandringham House than the kids being isolated from the adults during dinner. Prince William and Prince Harry, along with their cousins, spent the day in that nursery celebrating Christmas with the nannies and their own complete feast.
It seems Queen Elizabeth’s mindset about children sitting at the table with adults dates back to the Victorian Age, according to what McGrady has to say.
“So for the Queen there was never a case of putting a high chair at the table with a little baby squealing and throwing food. It was Victorian. The children’s place was in the nursery and Nanny would take care of them. It’s your modern day Downton Abbey.”
He said that all the kids in the royal family always ate in the nursery until they were old enough to have proper behavior at the table. The royal family spends Christmas Day eating. They start with a Christmas breakfast and go on through the day finishing off with a buffet Christmas dinner. There is also a Christmas lunch and a Christmas tea in between those two meals, making four sit-down events for eating during Christmas Day.
Not only do the kids in the Royal Family eat separately from the adults, they have their own food. It is not as if someone makes them up a plate from the adult’s table and takes it to them. While the adults eat their Christmas lunch, which consists of a turkey dinner, a turkey is prepared to bring into the nursery.
When the adults are done with lunch, which is timed for 50 minutes as their Christmas festivities are scheduled down to the minute, their next round of food is at Christmas tea. The adults have tea and an assortment of sandwiches, which they top off with a chocolate yule log, scones, mince pies, and a Christmas cake at their Christmas tea.
Back when Prince William and Prince Harry were kids, they would be joined by Zara, Peter, Princess Beatrice, and Princess Eugenie in the nursery. A cake was made especially for the kids and brought up to the nursery where the kids spend the day with nannies caring for them and overseeing their meals.
When William and Harry were young, the cake was always the same that was sent up to the nursery on Christmas for tea time.
“It was always fruitcake – royal icing, marzipan and the traditional fruit cake,” said McGrady.
The last meal of the day was the evening Christmas buffet, which was elaborate when it comes to food offerings. Cheese and crackers were done up with an entire Stilton cheese, which the kitchen staff would take the top off and pour port wine into the cheese and it was served with crackers. Then there was everything from a “big York ham” that was decorated to “whole foie gras en croute,” which was a gift to the royals from Harrods.
McGrady watched Prince William and Prince Harry grow up and one of his favorite royal family members was their mom, Princess Diana. He saw the entire royal family from a different angle than most people. He was privy to what they ate, where they sat down to eat it, and why they would eat what they did.
Princess Diana loved the crepe souffle dessert. She would come down to the kitchen after dinner and tell him that she was afraid to ask for seconds in front of the queen, but she was there to see if there was any left over. McGrady said when that dessert tray came back into the kitchen he would always put it into the warmer because he knew Princess Diana would come looking for it.