As we begin the countdown to ‘The Most Beautiful Time of Year’, it’s time to decorate the hallways, make a dent in the Christmas shopping and start thinking about what you’ll be eating on the big day. .
The Royal family is renowned for its weird and wacky festive traditions, of weighing themselves before and after dinner to make sure they are “well fed”, of banning the game of Monopoly, or of opening presents on Christmas Eve.
But when it comes to what’s served for Christmas dinner, the family couldn’t be more traditional.
A former palace chief raised the curtain and revealed what the royal family’s holiday schedule looked like and what was on the menu.
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You might have assumed the Queen and her family would eat a banquet of everything from caviar to foie gras on the big day, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Darren McGrady, a former royal chef who originally worked at the Savoy Hotel in London, cooked for the Royal Family for 15 years and served food to everyone from the Queen to Diana, Princess of Wales .
While McGrady has several hilarious anecdotes from his time working in the palace kitchens, he fondly remembers Christmas Day, largely because of its normalcy.
So what exactly did they eat?
“It was the same meal every year,” McGrady said. “Actually, they’re boring when it comes to festivities. They didn’t make ham or anything, just traditional turkeys.
“We made three turkeys for the queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children’s nursery and more for the hundred employees, so everyone had a Christmas lunch.”
McGrady added, “The turkey is served with mashed potatoes and roasted potatoes, chestnut or sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce and bread sauce. Vegetables include Brussels sprouts, carrots and roasted parsnips.
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But what about the pudding?
A traditional homemade Christmas pudding is served after the main meal and is “decorated in holly, sprinkled with brandy, and the palace steward would carry it, flamboyant, into the royal dining room,” says McGrady.
A party drink is a must on D-Day, so what’s the Queen’s favorite drink? According to McGrady, the Queen will enjoy a classic gin and dubonnet cocktail before sitting down to start her meal.
The former chef adds that the monarch would also enjoy a glass of the sweet and aromatic German white wine gewürztraminer with his food.
But following reports that the Queen has been advised to stop drinking before the most important year of her reign next year, will the Queen still have a drink with her family on Christmas? We hope!
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