Prince Philip Didn’t Like To Eat With The Queen. Here’s Why
When Prince Philip died in April 2021, both Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie mentioned that they would always remember him at the grill and with a beer in hand, something one might not always associate with the royal family. “But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end,” Harry wrote. “While I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!'”
Eugenie also painted a picture of a regular guy, helping his granddaughter perfect her grill technique.”I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day,” she wrote. So the guy was obviously a fan of a good cookout.
Darren McGrady was the personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Diana, and Princes William and Harry for 15 years. He told Delish that the prince could be found at the grill four to five days a week, but he also knew his way around the kitchen. He showed the chef how to core a mango and loved to wander into the kitchen late at night for a snack he could cook up himself. So why didn’t he like to dine with the queen and share the fruits of his labor?
Prince Philip has good reason to want to eat alone
Although Prince Philip was known to make insensitive and sometimes even racist remarks about the places he visited around the world, per The Independent, he did develop a penchant for the spices and mouth-watering cuisines of those same destinations. Per former royal chef Darren McGrady (via Delish), he loved spicy curry, lots of garlic, onions, and being a bit adventurous. And there lies the rub.
For one, Queen Elizabeth grew up in a family in which all of those things were discouraged, so that the royal would never have bad breath when meeting people at an event, per Delish. Which may be why her palate was a little more simple than her husband’s. Per McGrady, via another Delish article, while the prince loved to prepare and eat his own food, the queen simply “eats to live.” He added, “It was always down to the queen, you have everything how she has it. I think sometimes Prince Philip actually enjoyed eating on his own.”
Woman’s Day journalist Elissa Sanci described the queen’s diet as “painfully monotonous,” after researching her daily meals and attempting to mimic her daily meals. Queen Elizabeth reportedly eats “tea and cereal for breakfast, protein and veggies for lunch and dinner, with an afternoon tea sandwich snack break. She abstains from all breads, pastas, and starches.” Sanci added, “I don’t think she even uses ketchup.” For a foodie, there is no fun in that.
Prince Philip complained about food all the time
It wasn’t just the queen’s palate that Prince Philip didn’t vibe with. In 1966, after dining with the Scottish Women’s Institute, he declared that “British women can’t cook,” via the BBC. He also thought that the French just didn’t have a knack for breakfast foods after eating a meal consisting of bacon, eggs, smoked salmon kedgeree, croissants, and pain au chocolat, prepared by Gallic chef, Regis Crépy. If you’re used to a full English brekkie, a croissant might not cut it, to be fair (via The Independent).
And he did love his breakfast, per royal footman Charles Oliver, who once wrote in “Dinner at Buckingham Palace” that Philip used to travel with an electric glass-lidded frying pan to fry up omelets, bacon, sausages, and smoked haddock. Clearly, a bowl of cereal with his wife was just never going to cut it.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth agreed on some things
While he might have scoffed at Queen Elizabeth’s food preferences, Prince Philip did agree with her on some things. For all of his exotic tastes, raw oysters were a no-go, per Charles Oliver’s “Dinner at Buckingham Palace.” And he often would cook them up a little late-night snack now and again, per the former royal footman.
He wrote, “The Prince is also adept at producing quick, light supper snacks, which he and the queen often enjoy after they have dismissed the servants for the night. Among the things he could cook up for her? Scrambled eggs and smoked haddock, mushrooms sautéed in butter with bacon, Scotch woodcock with mushrooms, and omelet[s] with bacon.”
So at least they could happily break bread together now and again. Prince Philip was surely a character and it sounds like everyone, from his immediate family to the late-night kitchen staff, has a good story about him chowing down. Just not with his wife.
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