Royal chef Darren McGrady has recalled what really went down in the palace pantry – and the night Princess Diana nearly burned the place down.
The professional cook and food author famously spent 15 years in the royal kitchen, cooking for a host of royals, from the Queen to the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Diana and Princes William and Harry.
Speaking on The Morning Show, Darren remembered the night Princess Diana had a friend over for dinner and had to call the Royal Fire Brigade.
Royal chef Darren McGrady (pictured) has recalled what really went down in the palace pantry – and the night Princess Diana nearly burned the place down
Darren remembered the night Princess Diana (pictured) had a friend over for dinner and had to call the Royal Fire Brigade
‘The Princess was the worst cook ever!,’ Darren told the program.
‘[I remember] one day, she invited a friend over.
‘She was in the kitchen cooking pasta with a tomato sauce, and they got chatting away. The pasta boiled over, put out the pilot light, they went to eat the food and later, the Princess came back into the kitchen. She could smell gas.’
He recalled the Princess soon realised it was from the pilot light – and so she called the Palace Fire Brigade.
‘On Monday morning, she said “Darren, you won’t believe what has happened, I nearly set the kitchen on fire, but the best part was, I had 12 hunky firemen to myself!”‘
‘The Princess was the worst cook ever!,’ Darren told the program (Princess Diana pictured with Prince Harry in 1987)
Darren (pictured) was also a regular at mealtimes for Princes William and Harry, and said that he fed them both purees, before they graduated on to a love of burgers and hot dogs
It wasn’t only the People’s Princess that Darren cooked for.
He was also a regular in the kitchen at mealtimes for Princes William and Harry, and said that he fed them both purees, before they graduated on to a love of burgers, hot dogs, fried chickens and cottage pies.
‘They were royal princes, but they still had children’s palates,’ he said.
Darren added that he was always ‘battling’ with the nanny over making sure the royals both got enough vegetables.
While Darren hung up his royal apron in 1997 after Princess Diana died, his time at Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle looms large in his memory.
He said it was the most ‘amazing’ experience of his life.
‘With the Queen, I got to travel all over the world to Sandringham, Windsor, Balmoral, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Britannia, and two visits to Australia,’ he said.
The chef added that he imagines that Princess Diana is ‘looking down [on her sons] right now’ with a ‘beaming heart’.
While Darren hung up his royal apron in 1997 after Princess Diana died, his time at Kensington Palace and Windsor Castle looms large in his memory (the Duke of Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex pictured)
This isn’t the first time the royal chef has revealed details of the palace pantry.
Speaking to MailOnline previously, Darren claimed that Her Majesty is ‘not a foodie at all’ and prefers throwing dinners to actually eating them.
‘She’s not a foodie at all,’ Darren said.
‘She eats to live; it’s Prince Philip that lives to eat. He loves food, he’s interested in food, he wants to know where it comes from. The Queen, not so much.’
‘The best ones were state banquets when there was a king, queen or president visiting,’ Darren said. ‘That’s when they’d break out the Rockingham china from Queen Victoria’s coronation.
Darren claimed that Her Majesty (pictured) is ‘not a foodie at all’ and prefers throwing dinners to actually eating them
‘She’d oversee the full menu, choose what she wanted – do we have enough pheasant, grouse, partridge? She loved food from the estate and to see her own produce on the menu,’ he said.
‘She loved the hosting side of the event. Garden parties were huge we’d have to do so much food, scones and pastries, ice cream made fresh.’
Darren also outed Her Majesty as a ‘chocoholic’ whose favourite dessert was something called a ‘chocolate perfection pie’ – a pastry case lined with meringue, cinnamon and chocolate cream.