Prince Harry’s proposal to Meghan Markle did not include fireworks, a sign written in the sky or all the pomp and circumstance that comes with being royal. In fact, it was quite the opposite, a low key night in his Kensington Palace home with his love, cooking a roasted chicken. To the world, and all the dreamers who one day imagined themselves marrying the British royal, it may have seemed quite blasé but to former royal chef Darren McGrady, it was perfect. "I used to cook roasted chicken for them all the time." he tells HELLO!. "Harry loved that."
The chef reveals that the 33-year-old’s pranks back then even made their way to the kitchen. "I came back to do dinner and there was a note on the table. It said, 'Darren, please cancel the roast chicken and vegetables tonight for dinner and give the boys pizza instead, Jess," The Royal Chef at Home author recalls. "It was in ten-year-old handwriting. Harry wrote it. I sent the chicken; I was scared of the nanny."
The chef says that Harry has always been a prankster when it comes to the kitchen. Above, the young Prince makes toast in his House Kitchen while a student at Eton Photo: Getty Images
One person who never let anyone get in the way of how she spent time with her boys or what they wanted was the incomparable Princess Diana. “They were her babies,” he says. “They could have anything they wanted.” Though she won’t be there on Saturday to watch her youngest son marry, the People’s Princess will be there in spirit. “Diana will be looking down watching her little boy get married.”
Darren, whose first job with the royal family entailed cutting carrots for the Queen’s horse, also sees so much of his mother in him. "He has the Princess’ loving and tender side," he continues. "He leads from the heart and doesn’t conform."
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Such is evident in his bride-to-be: Meghan. "For a long time, it was history repeating itself. You have the Queen and Princess Margaret," he explains. "Princess Margaret was the party girl, and here you have the same thing. Eventually he found someone – that interview, my goodness. The way they look at each other, they are so in love."
In their pre-wedding interview, Meghan and Harry revealed they got engaged over a roast chicken meal – "I used to cook roasted chicken all the time," Darren tells HELLO!. "Harry loved that"
It’s been over 20 years since the Eating Royally author worked for the family, but he wouldn’t miss Saturday’s nuptials at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor for anything. "I’ll be hosting [at Kellogg’s NYC] with seven recipes I created," he says, before taking a fitting stroll down memory lane. "Seeing him get married, I held him as a baby. Diana was eating cereal in the kitchen at Windsor Castle and asked me to hold Harry. I’m literally holding the crown jewels in my hands as she ate."