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Former Royal chef gives away secrets of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace



A former Royal chef has given insight into the Royal family, including why the Queen has always seen Windsor Castle as home, and how proud Diana would be of sons William and Harry. Darren McGrady spent 11 years cooking for The Queen working at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral, before moving to Kensington Palace, where he cooked for Princess Diana, William and Harry for a number of years.

Speaking to Coffee Friend in an exclusive interview, Chef McGrady explained why the Queen prefers Windsor to Buckingham, and revealed inside secrets of Windsor Castle’s two kitchens.

He said: “It’s no surprise the Queen has moved to Windsor, she’s never really liked the palace, it’s always been the office to the Queen. The Queen would always be whizzing off back to Windsor Castle, she can’t wait to get back there. She loves it there, so it’s no surprise she’s moved there permanently.

“There’s two kitchens there, the main kitchen and the small kitchen and the small kitchen is just small enough to take care of the Queen and one or two guests. There’d always be a senior chef, a junior chef and about 30 staff that would go to Windsor for the weekend. We worked in the small kitchen, it’s much different, much more relaxed.

“The Queen can go out, walk the dogs, go out and see the horses in the back garden. For the Queen, it’s always been dogs and horses first. That’s her passion, that’s her hobbies. And why shouldn’t she at 96 enjoy that. Let Charles and William take on some of the other engagements, she should just be spending time with the horses and the dogs every day now. Her family are all close by too in Windsor.”

But Chef Grady said there are occasions at Buckingham Palace that the Queen enjoys, He said: “We did five garden parties a year for around 6000 people – I think it’s really important for the Queen to host the garden parties, the people invited are more often than not charities and she wants to meet them and thank them.

“I always thought it was funny, every garden party was like a challenge for the Queen. The gates would open, people would go out into the garden and start eating and eating and drinking, and then when the Queen came out onto the steps, they played the national anthem and they’d all form a maze of lines all the way through the garden right across to the Royal tea tent in the corner and the Queen had to get from those steps at Buckingham Palace and weave her way around to the Royal tea tent where she could finally have a nice cup of tea.”

Turning to future generations, Chef Grady said: “William has always known that he’s going to be King one day over Harry, William was the heir, Harry was the spare. Princess Diana would have been thrilled to pieces now that both boys are happy, they’ve found a partner and they’re happy within their relationships because obviously he wasn’t and went through a divorce and separation. And, of course, the children, the families that both have produced.

“If Diana was alive today, she would be hugging those girls [Kate and Meghan]. I just see her hugging Charlotte. I think she’d be so proud of William the way he has taken on these Royal duties. Seeing the Queen at 96 having to step back – if she could get out there, she would, she wants to, but she can’t physically do everything now – and the Prince of Wales and William and Kate step up and do more and more, it shows that the monarch is here for a long time to come.

“I know it sounds dramatic to say, but the way Princess Diana was bringing the children into the next century – she was able to say, ‘I know they’re Royal children, but they’re normal children too.’ It wasn’t the case of having to dress for dinner or sit at the table and be served formally by butlers.

“On a Saturday night, you’d see Diana sitting down in front of the TV eating dinner with her boys, it just made everything so normal. Nanny always suggested that the boys have roasted chicken, green vegetables and healthy food, but on a saturday night the boys could have pizza, the boys could have hamburgers and fried chicken, and things like that. It was a special treat. It was Diana’s way of showing them, you’re children too, and we see a lot of that with Kate now too.”




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