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The unusual way the Queen orders her meals at Buckingham Palace

We adore this royal tradition

Kate Thomas
Lifestyle Managing Editor
Updated: March 3, 2021
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We've often wondered how Her Majesty the Queen requests her meals of choice at home in Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. Is there a set menu on rotation from the royal kitchen or can she ask for her particular food of fancy that day?

Former royal chef Darren McGrady – who cooked for the Queen, Prince PhilipPrincess DianaPrince William and Prince Harry – previously told HELLO! exactly how the monarch orders her meals, and it's quite surprising.

Darren revealed how would present the Queen with a red leather-bound book full of recipes for her to choose from – and it was all written in French!

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He told HELLO!: "We prepared the menus three days ahead so we could get the food in. The chefs would pick the menus and she would put a line through the ones she didn't want."

buckingham palace menu french

The Queen's menu is usually written in French

When the Queen is hosting guests, the menu presented to visitors is usually in French too, according to Prince Charles's former butler Grant Harrold. Remember Charles and Diana's lavish 1981 wedding menu?

"If the Queen hosts a dinner at Buckingham Palace, the menu is normally in French", Grant told The Huffington Post.

"When she and the Duke hosted dinner following the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Wales, it was done in their style, with the menus in French."

MORE: This is what Kate Middleton and her children eat for dinner

queen elizabeth smiling

The Queen's daily menus are presented in a red leather-bound book

Why French, though? It's well known that Her Majesty is fluent in French and she has surprised fans with her effortless pronunciation on many occasions.

However, the tradition has actually been in place since the Norman conquests of the 11th Century when French became the official language of the court.

Food anthropologist Kaori O’Connor told The Huffington Post the royal family may have kept this in place because of the respect French cuisine still commands around the world to this day. It seems the tradition has stuck!

LOOK: The Queen's former chef reveals the monarch's favourite pies for National Pie Week - exclusive

buckingham palace state banquet

The Queen is fluent in French - but there's a historical reason behind it

One memorable time the menu's language changed was in 2005. According to The Telegraph, the Queen broke with tradition when she hosted the International Olympic Committee, presenting them with English menus featuring traditional British dishes and homegrown wines in a bid to host the Olympics in London.

Who knew there was such a rich history behind the royal menu?

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