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Queen Elizabeth II's secret to her longevity: Discover the late monarch's age-defying diet

What the monarch ate to live to 96 years old

queen daily diet eating
Sophie Hamilton
Sophie HamiltonParenting Editor
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Queen Elizabeth II lived to an impressive 96 years old before she died, marking her Platinum Jubilee just months before her passing. The British monarch may have experienced a few setbacks with her health towards the end of her life, but she remained impressively agile for her age and always radiated energy.

SEE: The Queen's life in pictures: Remembering the best moments from her 70-year reign

We know that Her Majesty loved spending time outdoors walking her dogs and riding horses, so all that fresh air no doubt contributed to her strong immune system. The Queen also ate a healthy, balanced diet, full of seasonal fruit and vegetables, organic produce from the royal estate and a daily dose of afternoon tea.

WATCH: The Queen's daily diet at the palace

The Queen relied on a devoted team of talented chefs at Buckingham Palace nd Windsor Castle who catered for her personal meals and banquets. Former royal chef Darren McGrady previously told HELLO! that 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.

MORE: The Queen's 7 most bizarre eating habits might surprise you

the queen tea© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen enjoyed a daily cup of tea

"We prepared the menus three days ahead so we could get the food in," said Darren.

He continued: "The chefs would pick the menus and she would put a line through the ones she didn't want. Sometimes she'd put a line through it all and put something different - like if she was having dinner with Prince Andrew, his favourite was Crème Brulee with Sandringham oranges."

Scroll on to discover everything Her Majesty loved to eat in a day…

What did the Queen eat for breakfast?

Did you know that the monarch enjoyed a pre-breakfast each day?

House and Garden reported that the Queen liked to start her day with Earl Grey tea – minus milk and sugar – and a side of biscuits alongside her corgis. She then would enjoy her main breakfast in her private dining room in Buckingham Palace; cereal, yoghurt, toast and marmalade are said to be the late mother-of-four's favourites.

The Queen also had a likening to fish for breakfast, as revealed in Dinner at Buckingham Palace, a book based on the diaries and personal recollections of royal servant Charles Oliver. An extract told how the Queen "has been partial to kippers since the war years" when she and Princess Margaret were at Windsor Castle.

"Kippers, in a number of uncomplicated variations, have remained a favourite with the Queen ever since – for breakfast, as a savoury or a late-night supper. The queen is also fond of smoked haddock as a breakfast dish."

MORE: The Queen's VERY unusual dessert habits – you won't believe how she eats fruit!

What did the Queen eat for lunch?

The monarch is believed to keep things simple for lunch, often enjoying a plate of fish and vegetables. Darren told House and Garden that a typical lunch would be Dover sole on a bed of wilted spinach.

The royal is said to have avoided starchy food such as pasta and potatoes when eating alone - which could have been key to her longevity. Though carbohydrates are important for healthy, balanced diet, Healthine reports that diets high in refined starches are linked to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and weight gain.

queen lunch© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh eating lunch

What did the Queen eat for afternoon tea?

When we think of afternoon tea, we like to imagine we're her Majesty, sipping our Earl Grey and nibbling on finger sandwiches and scones. Well, did you know she actually did that every day?

Darren McGrady has previously revealed that the monarch loved chocolate biscuit cake and ginger cake, and her favourite sandwiches were cucumber, egg and smoked salmon.

chocolate cake

The famous chocolate biscuit cake

What did the Queen eat for dinner?

The monarch's supper tastes were varied and include a combination of meat or fish and vegetables. "For a main course she loved game, things like Gaelic steak, fillet steak with a mushroom whisky sauce, especially if we did it with venison," Darren has revealed.

"For a first course she loved the Gleneagles pâté, which is smoked salmon, trout and mackerel. She loved using ingredients off the estate and so if we had salmon from Balmoral from the River Dee, she'd have that, it was one of her favourites."

He added: "We used a repertoire of dishes, mainly British and French food. We cooked a lot of traditional French food like halibut on a bed of spinach with a Mornay sauce."

For dessert, the Queen is said to have loved strawberries from Balmoral and white peaches grown at Windsor Castle, according to The Independent. She also had a soft spot for chocolate. Darren told HELLO!: "She is absolutely a chocoholic. Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose, especially chocolate perfection pie." Now that sounds good!

the queen drinks

The Queen enjoys a glass of wine just like us

HELLO! spoke with a former royal nutritionist to analyse the Queen's chocolate intake - and you'll be surprised to learn that her hack for staying youthful was sweeter than you might think.

"When our skin ages, it can turn grey or develop dark spots," explains Jennifer Hanway. "The reason behind that is because of free radical damage, which can affect the healthy cells in our body. So, to stay glowing and healthy, you need a ton of things like berries, organic coffee, or really high percentage cacao dark chocolate," which are a rich source of antioxidants and minerals.

Yes, you read that right. Chocolate is so antioxidant-rich, that research suggests it may even help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and improve brain function.

What did the Queen like to drink?

Well, we know the monarch enjoyed a good cup of tea! Royal butler Grant Harrold once spoke about the Queen's favourite tea in BBC Three comedy show Miss Holland, which aired in 2018.

RELATED: The Queen's fussy eating habit her great-grandchildren would approve of

Grant revealed: "I am sure the Queen enjoys her Assam or her Earl Grey the traditional way, made with tea leaves in a teapot and poured into a fine bone china teacup. She will also use a strainer. It is also a myth that members of Royalty use their pinky when drinking, I have never seen that happen once."

As for an alcoholic tipple, Her Majesty was partial to the odd gin. In 2017, Darren McGrady spoke out on reports that the Queen drank four cocktails a day. He told CNN: "She'd be pickled if she drank that much. All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That's her favourite drink."

Darren added that when the Queen did have a drink with dinner, it was typically a glass of her favourite German sweet wine. "Just in the evening. She certainly doesn't drink four glasses a day."

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