His tactic? McGrady said he would mash up broccoli and hide it in the boys’ mashed potatoes. It was a method highly endorsed by Princess Diana since, while she was often cool with relaxing the rules when it came to her kids, she did prefer that they eat the same thing the grown-ups were having by default, McGrady explained. (Hey, how else are you going to raise adventurous eaters, right?)
RELATED: Inside the eating habits of the royal family
9 bizarre eating habits of the royal family
9 bizarre eating habits of the royal family
Harry and William love fast food, especially McDonald's
The diet of a prince doesn't just revolve around lobster platters and foie gras (as most of us are inclined to believe). While Prince Harry and William are royal princes by stature, they are known to have more common palates. Former royal family personal chef Darren McGrady told Marie Claire, "I remember Princess [Diana] came into the kitchen one day and said, 'Cancel lunch for the boys I'm taking them out, we're going to McDonald's. And I said, 'Oh my God your royal highness, I can do that, I can do burgers.' And she said, 'No, it's the toy they want.' Yeah, the boys loved McDonald's, and going out to pizza, and having potato skins—sort of the American foods." We don't blame them. McDonald's fries are addictive. Here's the secret ingredient.
Philip once made the staff swap dinners with him
Although it may be a rule of thumb that fancier dinners call for smaller portions, Prince Philip certainly abides by a different rule book. McGrady shares, "[Prince Philip] came into the kitchen and said, 'What's for dinner tonight?' And I said, 'I have these little one-inch eyes of lamb meat for you, your Royal Highness.' He looked and said, 'What's that—what are they?' And I said, 'Oh, those are chops, Your Highness.' He wanted to know who they were for, and I said, 'staff.' And he said, 'Oh, can't we have those?' I ended up giving him these big meatier pieces, and the staff had the other pieces." (Also, did you know the royal family is banned from eating shellfish in public?)
Princess Diana was on a very strict diet, but nobody suspected her bulimia
While most of us now know about Princess Diana's bulimia, you'd be surprised to hear about the extent to her strictly enforced diet. McGrady reports that he used to make her fat-free versions of dishes, and she would "trick" fellow guests at the table into thinking she was eating the same thing. In addition, red meat was completely off limits, and every meal was curbed into healthy eating: "One day she said to me, 'Darren, I want you to take care of all the fats, and I'll take care of the carbs at the gym.' We changed everything, I threw out my Buckingham Palace recipe book and got into healthy eating," says McGrady. "When she was at Buckingham Palace, her bulimia was definitely a hidden thing. We didn't know about it. It wasn't until she confronted it, and everyone put two and two together, that she started really healthy eating...she liked dishes like stuffed bell peppers and stuffed eggplant—she loved fish." (In Princes Diana's self-told story about Prince Charles, it is revealed that her husband had a huge impact on her eating disorder).
Prince Philip was not into Charles' organic food
Apparently, green eating just isn't for everyone. According to McGrady, Prince Philip wasn't as keen on organic fare as Charles was. "We always used to get a hamper [full of food and treats] from Harrods—a thank you gift for shopping with them. Prince Philip came into the kitchen and there were two hampers. He said, 'Oh, is this a Harrods hamper?" I said, 'No, your highness, this is a hamper the Prince of Wales brought with him.' He looked puzzled so I opened it up and I said, 'It's all organic.' And he said, 'Oh, bloody organic!' And just shook his head and walked out."
The family would lie to the Queen Mother about dinner time
You know that trick you use to get your constantly late friend to be on time? It's used in the royal palaces, too. McGrady reveals that because of Queen Elizabeth's tendency to arrive late to every family dinner, the rest of the family would lie about the dinner schedule so that she would actually show up at a reasonable time. "Dinner was at 8:30 in Balmoral when Her Majesty the Queen Mother was in attendance. They used to tell her that dinner was at 8:15, and she'd be the last one down. They told everyone else 8:30 because they knew she'd be late," he notes.
The Queen ate out of Tupperware
Turns out that even the Queen understands the value of practicality. While Her Majesty does eat food off of diamond-encrusted or solid gold plates (totally standard), McGrady informs that "at Balmoral she'd eat fruit from a plastic yellow Tupperware container." And that's not all–she would also dabble in some classic Kellogg's for breakfast from a plastic container which she would serve herself. (As a true Brit, it would come with a cup of Darjeeling tea).
The Queen's favorite food is dark chocolate
If you're ever in need of a gift idea, take note from Queen Elizabeth: chocolate is always the way to go. "The Queen loves to eat any food from the estate—so game birds, pheasants, grouse, partridge—she loves those to be on the menu. But of course, she loves chocolate. That was her favorite, and it has to be dark chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the better."
Everyone must dress up for dinner
Although Balmoral (their Scottish holiday home) is where the royal family really lets their hair down, the typical dinner would normally entails Downtown Abbey levels of formal. "They'd come down in dressy ball gowns, and sit at the table—like a Downton Abbey dinner. All the fine china was brought out. At the end of the meal, a bagpipe player would walk around the table," McGrady says. Even so, nobody is perfect; McGrady also notes that Prince Philip was known to dress so tattily that he once mistook him for the gardener. (No matter how they're dressed, these are the 14 etiquette rules everyone in the royal family must follow.)
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The method worked—in fact, he said it's the fastest way to get kids to ask for a second helping. Now, the question remains: Do you think Prince William tries this same approach with Charlotte and George?
VENICE, ITALY - MAY 5: (FILE PHOTO) (L-R) Diana the Princess of Wales holds her son Harry, whilst looking at Prince William held by his father Prince Charles on May 5, 1985 in Venice, Italy. Prince William will celebrate his 21st birthday on June 21, 2003. (Photo by Georges de Keerle/Getty Images)
Princes William and Harry with their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997) in the garden of Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, 18th July 1986. William is wearing a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt.(Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana At Highgrove With Prince William And Prince Harry Dressed In Miniature Parachute Regiment Uniforms And Playing On Their Slide In The Garden (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana With Her Sons Prince William And Prince Harry Playing With A Playhouse In The Garden Of Their Home Highgrove (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Prince and Princess of Wales on holiday with their children, Princes William and Harry, at the Spanish royal residence Marivent Palace, August 1987. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Getty Images)
The Princess of Wales arriving at Aberdeen airport with her sons William and Harry for a holiday at Balmoral Castle, August 1986. Princess Diana is wearing a polo motive sweater by Mondi. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 01: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales at home in Kensington Palace with their sons Prince William and Prince Harry (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 16: Princess Diana And Prince William Leaving After Delivering Prince Harry To Mrs. Mynor's Nursery School. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 11: Diana, Princess Of Wales, Holding A Young Prince Harry In Her Arms As She Watches Trooping The Colour With Prince William And Princess Margaret From The Balcony Of Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
BALMORAL, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 18: Diana, Princess of Wales, and Prince Harry play on the banks of the River Dee, near Balmoral Castle.during a Summer vacation, on August 18, 1987, in Balmoral, Scotland. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS - JANUARY 9: Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince Harry ( centre ), and her Niece's and Nephew's on holiday on Necker Island , on January 9, 1989 in Necker Island, British Virgin Islands. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
BATH - MAY 30: (FILE PHOTO) Prince William, Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry and Charles, Prince of Wales, attend the wedding of the Duke of Hussey's daughter in May, 1989 in Bath, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LONDON - SEPTEMBER 12: (FILE PHOTO) Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry at Wetherby School on September 12, 1989 in London, England. It is Prince Harry's first day at school. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Diana, The Princess Of Wales Takes Her Sons, Prince'S William, And Harry Out On The Boat ' Maid Of The Mist ' To View Niagara Falls. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
CHERTSEY, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 18: Diana, Princess of Wales, with Prince Harry, on the Depth Charge ride at Thorpe Park, Theme Park, on April 18, 1992 in Chertsey United Kingdom . (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
LECH, AUSTRIA - APRIL 10: Princess Diana With Princes William & Harry Skiing In Lech, Austria (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
Diana Princess Of Wales, Prince William & Prince Harry Visit The 'Thorpe Park' Amusement Park. (Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)
AUSTRIA - MARCH 30: Lech: Princess Diana, sons William and Harry going to restaurant in calash In Lech, Austria On March 30, 1993. (Photo by Laurent SOLA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
LECH, AUSTRIA - MARCH 27: Princess Diana With Prince William & Prince Harry In Sleigh During Ski Holiday In Lech, Austria. Behind Are Diana's Friends Kate Menzies And Catherine Soames (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 19: Princess Diana, Prince Harry [ Waving ] And Prince William Watching The Parade Of Veterans On V J Day, The Mall, London. Designer Of Diana's Suit - Tomasz Starzewski (please Check - People Magazine, 04/12/1999) (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
EMBARGOED TO 0001 Sunday July 23, 2017. NO USE AFTER MONDAY JULY 31, 2017. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO USE ON THE FRONT COVERS OF ANY UK OR INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINES. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph (whose copyright is vested in the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry) is provided to you on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. This photograph released by Kensington Palace, from the personal photo album of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, shows the princess holding Prince William whilst pregnant with Prince Harry, and features in the new ITV documentary 'Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy', which airs on ITV at 21.00hrs on Monday 24th July.
EMBARGOED TO 0001 Sunday July 23, 2017. NO USE AFTER MONDAY JULY 31, 2017. NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO USE ON THE FRONT COVERS OF ANY UK OR INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINES. NO COMMERCIAL USE (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use including, for example, calendars, books and supplements). This photograph (whose copyright is vested in the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry) is provided to you on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. All other requests for use should be directed to the Press Office at Kensington Palace in writing. This photograph released by Kensington Palace, from the personal photo album of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, shows the princess and Prince Harry on holiday and features in the new ITV documentary 'Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy', which airs on ITV at 21.00hrs on Monday 24th July.