The Queen's surprising Christmas dinner tradition for children unveiled

Perhaps the tradition is still used with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and other kids!

Nichola Murphy

The Queen, the Duke of Ediburgh and the rest of the royal family have a "Victorian" approach to their Christmas celebrations, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady.

Any parent will know that fine china and toddlers are a recipe for disaster, which is why Her Majesty ensures there are separate dining areas for the kids on Christmas day – senior royals would dine in the main room, and the young Princes and Princesses would eat in the nursery.

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"The children always ate in the nursery until they were old enough to conduct themselves properly at the dining table," said Darren. "So for the Queen there was never a case of putting a high chair at the table with a little baby squealing and throwing food. 

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WATCH: The unusual snack the Queen loves to eat

"It was Victorian. The children's place was in the nursery and Nanny would take care of them. It's your modern-day Downton Abbey."

The royals are likely going to miss their traditional family gathering over Christmas, caused by the coronavirus restrictions.

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Prince William, Prince Harry and other royal children would dine in a separate room 

But with the regal clan rapidly expanding over the past few years – with Prince William and Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Zara and Mike Tindall all welcoming children of their own, while Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank are set to become parents soon – it's got us wondering if the tradition is still in place today!

If so, what foods would be served in each room? Traditional turkey and Christmas pudding for all, Darren said.


Prince George is pictured making Christmas pudding with the Queen

"They're actually boring when it comes to festivities!," he told HELLO! Online. "We did three turkeys for the Queen and her family in the royal dining room, one for the children's nursery and then more for the 100 or so staff, so everyone had a Christmas lunch." 

The chef, who first cooked for the Queen and then for Princess Diana, continued: "We'd make one big Christmas cake for the Queen and the royal family and then another smaller one for the nursery for Prince William, Prince Harry, Zara, Peter, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. It was always fruit cake – royal icing, marzipan and the traditional fruit cake."

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