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The Queen's unusual dinner tradition at Balmoral is so relatable

The monarch moved to Balmoral in late July

queen elizabeth prince philip dinner
Nichola Murphy
Nichola MurphyWeddings Editor
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The Queen began her annual stay at Balmoral at the end of July, marking her first summer holiday without her late husband Prince Philip. And while the monarch is no doubt enjoying a change of scenery after what has been a very difficult year, there are certain traditions that will continue during her trip – including the very relatable way she likes to eat her dinner.

READ MORE: The Queen heads to Balmoral for first summer holiday without Prince Philip

While she enjoys a more formal set up at Buckingham Palace, the Queen reportedly favours more low-key dinners when she's not entertaining guests. Instead of using the grand dining room at Balmoral, the 95-year-old has been known to eat her dinner in front of the TV!

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Speaking during Secrets Of The Royal Kitchen, royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell previously said: "She has her dinner off a tray looking at the television. She likes it. It’s homely and cosy and it’s comfortable." And her choice of entertainment may also surprise you; Her Majesty supposedly enjoys The Bill, Midsomer Murders, Last Of The Summer Wine and Doctor Who.

MORE: What royal children get up to at Balmoral in summer: from country sports to wild adventures

This cosy tradition was likely continued by the royals during the coronavirus lockdown – just like much of the nation! And with the Queen continuing to stay safe amid the going pandemic, we imagine most nights during her stay at Balmoral will look the same.


The Queen is staying in Balmoral for the summer

Although she is not likely to leave the confines of her Scottish residence, she will be visited by other members of the royal family. This means, on occasion, she may change her dinner routine or food choices to suit her guests.

MORE: Royal summer holidays! Kate Middleton, the Queen and more's travel plans

Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously revealed a red leather-bound book of menus, written in French, would be sent up to the Queen each week, containing a wide variety of recipes.

"We prepared the menus three days ahead so we could get the food in," he said. "The chefs would pick the menus and she would put a line through the ones she didn't want. Darren continued: "It's like any mum with a son or grandson coming home. If Prince William was coming for tea it would be a chocolate biscuit cake. He loved those."

queen chocolate cake

The Queen's menu likely includes chocolate, especially when Prince William visits

The queen usually travels up to Balmoral in August, but it's understood that she spent time at the residence in May as she grieved for Prince Philip.

Balmoral holds many fond memories for the Queen and her late husband - the Duke even left his personal mark on their beloved summer home, in the form of a sprawling vegetable patch and kitchen garden.

DISCOVER: Will the Queen receive these high-profile visitors at her Scottish home this summer?

Scotland is considered to be one of the Queen's favourite places on Earth; she and Prince Philip even spent part of their honeymoon at Birkhall hunting lodge, located on the estate, in 1947.

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