Given that the British royal family is worth more than $US1 billion, you might expect that luxuries like truffles, caviar, and lobster are staples of their diet.
But the Windsors are surprisingly frugal, a former palace chef told Racked.
Carolyn Robb, who worked in the Kensington Palace kitchen from 1989 to 2000, was the personal chef to Prince Charles, Princess Diana, and Princes William and Harry during those years.
Their meals tended to be simple and made with homegrown fruits and vegetables, Robb told Chavie Lieber of Racked:
“A lot of people’s impression of [their] food is that it’s upscale, like always with caviar.
But they really didn’t have that kind of diet at all.
When they were home, they preferred really simple, fresh, homemade meals.
We had things like wild mushrooms, though, that we’d actually pick on the estate in Scotland. Each summer we’d go out there and pick them and dry them and freeze them so we’d have them throughout the year.
Sometimes they were given caviar and truffles as a gift and so we’d use that, but we would never buy [those]. I think it might surprise people that [Prince Charles] was conscious of things like that.”
Robb says that the royals’ milk came from their own cows, and their meat came from the lambs that they raised. And since Prince Charles enjoys hunting, the family ate plenty of wild game that he shot himself.
But just like the rest of us, they try to get the most value out of each meal.
Yes, the prince was very economical and very much believed that nothing should go to waste. If there were leftovers, they’d be used one way or another. If not for him, then rehashed and used for a meal the following day. But we were always quite careful: he never wanted to have huge amounts of food on the plate. They were always very thrifty and economical. If we made roasted lamb and there was leftovers, we’d probably go and make Shepard’s pie the next night.
Robb also revealed that, to her knowledge, Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (known more widely by her name before marriage, Kate Middleton), don’t have a chef.
“They have a small household and can fend for themselves,” she says, adding that the Duchess didn’t grow up as royalty and has always cooked for herself. “And what I’ve always heard is that William enjoys spending time with her family because they just eat together at the kitchen table like a normal family. I’m sure that’s what they still do.”