the queen

The Queen's favourite £2.50 meal revealed!

Her former pilot has disclosed what the royals loved to eat on long-haul flights

Gemma Strong

The Queen has experienced some of the finest dining in the world, but even she enjoys tucking in to some comfort food every once in a while. The monarch's former pilot has revealed her favourite treat while travelling on long-haul flights during the 90s – and it might surprise you! According to Graham Laurie, the Queen and other members of the royal family enjoyed eating Fray Bentos tinned pies while flying. In an upcoming Channel 5 documentary, Graham reveals: "Do you know, they used to love it. I think it's such a lovely change from all that fancy food which comes in first class!"

The Queen pictured at a state banquet

HELLO! previously disclosed that – despite visiting 116 of the world's 196 countries – the Queen is not an adventurous eater, and is not keen on trying new dishes. In an exclusive interview, her former royal chef, Darren McGrady, revealed that the 93-year-old is not a real foodie at heart, but shared: "She is absolutely a chocoholic!" He added: "Anything we put on the menu that had chocolate on, she would choose, especially chocolate perfection pie."

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Darren, who worked at Buckingham Palace for 11 years followed by four years at Kensington Palace, said of the Queen's savoury choices: "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.

The monarch has access to some of the finest food in the world

"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. 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 Morney sauce.

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"But the Queen never was a foodie. She always ate to live rather than live to eat. Prince Philip was the foodie. He'd want to try any new dishes all the time and got excited about new ingredients whereas the Queen, if we had a new recipe, she'd have to look at the whole recipe before saying, 'Yes ok, let's try it'. But for the most part she stuck to the same dishes week in week out."

Darren McGrady, former royal chef, has said Prince Philip was the 'foodie'

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," said Darren. "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."

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"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."