Royals may have plenty of staff to come up with imaginative ideas for mealtimes, but that hasn't stopped them from experimenting in the kitchen themselves! Megan Markle, Queen Maxima and more royals have shown off their impressive cooking skills over the years, from homemade banana bread to delicious chutneys. Take a look at which royals could have had a career as a chef in another life...
The Duchess of Cambridge was an avid baker long before she appeared alongside Mary Berry in A Berry Royal Christmas! On the show, Kate revealed her passion for baking birthday cakes for her children, saying: "I love making the cake. It's become a bit of a tradition that I stay up 'til midnight with ridiculous amounts of cake mix and icing and I make far too much. But I love it."
Baking is not her only talent; she also famously whipped up a homemade chutney as a gift to the Queen for her first Christmas with the royal family. "I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas," Kate revealed in a documentary released to coincide with the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. "And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present. I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?' I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents and I thought, 'I'll make her something', which could have gone horribly wrong, but I decided to make my granny’s recipe of chutney." The chutney was a huge success and even featured in the Christmas meal the following day.
He may only be six years old, but Prince George has already proven he is taking after his mum when it comes to his culinary skills. In December 2019, the young royal was pictured making Christmas puddings with his dad Prince William, Prince Charles and the Queen. As part of the launch of The Royal British Legion’s ‘Together at Christmas’ initiative, the four generations got together in the Music Room at Buckingham Palace to stir together four puddings that included poppy seeds, in a nod to the charity’s iconic symbol of Remembrance. So it looks as though Kate has a little helper in the kitchen!
The Duchess of Cornwall gave professional pastry chefs a run for their money in 2019 when she marked the 50th anniversary of Ginsters Bakery. After having a go at pasty making, Camilla even won praise from a Michelin star chef for her crimping technique, which supposedly takes three months to learn. "I think this is going to be a wibbly-wobbly pasty. With a bit of practice I think I would get the hang of it," Camilla said at the time, but Chris Eden, the only Cornish-born chef to be awarded a Michelin star was impressed.
"It is a real skill that takes a while to get the knack of. It was amazing for her to give it a go," he said. "It took me ages to learn how to do it properly so for her to do what she did, she did very well. It was better than my first go." So the only thing holding the Duchess back is her confidence in her own abilities!
Prince Philip is not shy in the kitchen, often choosing to prepare meals for himself and the Queen. In the book Dinner at Buckingham Palace, former royal footman Charles Oliver revealed big breakfasts and light dinners are the royal's specialities. He wrote of Prince Philip’s culinary flair: "Wherever he goes, he insists on his electric glass-lidded frying pan being packed so that he can do the cooking. For breakfast, bacon, eggs and sausages are his usual raw materials, though he often cooks kidneys and omelettes."
He added: "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. Dishes include scrambled eggs and smoked haddock, mushrooms sautéed in butter with bacon, Scotch woodcock (scrambled eggs with anchovies on toast) with mushrooms, and omelette with bacon." We'll be adding some of these to our weekly menu…
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands celebrated her 49th birthday with her favourite Argentinian cookies, which were sandwiched together with a layer of dulce de leche and rolled in coconut. Yum! The recipe was from her mother María del Carmen Cerruti Carricart, so we reckon the royal has had plenty of years to perfect the skill of recreating them at home - and now she's shared the recipe, we can too! "I grew up with Alfajores, they are my favourite cookies! I bake them according to my mother's recipe, which I am pleased to share with you. So you can bake them yourself at home!” the caption read. You don't need to tell us twice!
Despite claiming that his wife is the one with the cooking skills on A Very Berry Christmas, there has been plenty of evidence to suggest the Duke of Cambridge was downplaying his abilities. He learnt to cook at a young age, with pictures showing the teenage royal donning an apron in the kitchen at Eton College as he created a chicken paella. And his wife Kate has revealed that he was still honing his culinary skills years later when they both attended St Andrews University.
When British baking icon Mary Berry asked Kate whether the Prince ever cooks for her, she joked: "He sometimes does actually. He's very good at breakfast. In [our] university days he used to cook all sorts of meals. I think that's when he was trying to impress me, Mary. Things like bolognese sauce and things like that." So the Cambridge family are all a dab hand in the kitchen!
Before joining the royal family, the Duchess of Sussex shared several delicious recipes on her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, and her love of cooking has continued. Although she often eats lighter meals such as Acai bowls and salads, when it comes to cooking for her loved ones, hearty meals are her go-to. Meghan especially enjoys cooking a Sunday roast, which now holds a special place in herself and Prince Harry's hearts given that they got engaged while preparing the dish! "I am a big fan of Sunday suppers. Whether we're eating lamb tagine, pot roast or a hearty soup, the idea of gathering for a hearty meal with friends and family on a Sunday makes me feel comforted," she told Today. "I enjoy making slow-cooked food on Sundays, like Filipino-style chicken adobo. It's so easy—combine garlic, soy (or Bragg Liquid Aminos), vinegar, maybe some lemon and let the chicken swim in that sauce until it falls off the bone in a Crock Pot."
And she has dessert covered, too! During the royal tour of Australia, Meghan surprised her hosts at a farm by presenting them with homemade chocolate chip and ginger banana bread, which was said to be "delicious".
The Prince of Wales loves cheese just as much as the rest of us! To mark the end of the British Cheese Weekender in May, Charles revealed one of his favourite recipes is cheesy baked eggs, and released a step-by-step guide in a bid to encourage the public to support British cheesemakers. "One thing that undoubtedly brings many of us great comfort is good food. It is, therefore, deeply troubling to learn that this [coronavirus] crisis risks destroying one of the most wonderful joys in life – British cheese!" the 71-year-old wrote in the caption. While it's not clear whether Charles personally whips up the tasty breakfast, we like to think it's a staple in the royal household.