King Charles

Lorde knows we’ll "never be royals," but that doesn’t mean we commoners can’t vicariously live through, and obsess over, the world’s actual royalty. Case in point, the worldwide attention currently being paid to the British royal family in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s recent passing. Now, whether or not Americans should be deeply invested in the monarchical machinations of another nation (one we fought to secede from nearly 250 years ago) is a question we can’t answer. But there’s no denying the international spotlight on Britain has been shining brightly since September 8, when the first newly-crowned British monarch in seven decades, King Charles III, began his reign on the throne.

King Charles is no stranger to the public eye, owning an almost intimate familiarity with life under a cultural microscope. Given his tabloid-heavy lifestyle, both before and after his marriage to the late Princess Diana, there’s not a whole lot the world doesn’t know about him. Still, as the new King of England, there’s a newfound interest in all things Charles — even the more mundane aspects of his life.

With that in mind, some have wondered what the king eats on a daily basis. The formerly-titled Prince of Wales’ menu choices isn’t quite as rigid as the archaic rules imposed by the monarchy, but there are a number of interesting consistencies regarding what the man ingests. Let’s take a deeper look at King Charles III’s diet, and discuss what he eats in a day.

One plum (of two served)

Bowl of plums on wood

There’s no shortage of tales describing the rather finicky demands made of royal figures, and King Charles is no different. In fact, the man was nicknamed the "pampered prince" by the staff at his former residence, Clarence House, according to the 2015 documentary "Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm" (via The Economic Times). Perhaps this helps explain the new king’s predilection for eating a single plum at breakfast time … while demanding he is served two plums from his personal garden each time (via Yahoo News).

Frankly, the king’s desire to enjoy fruit grown from his own royal garden is understandable. But as former royal chef, Darren McGrady, noted in a 2019 documentary (via Yahoo News), though the then-prince’s preference was to be served two plums each morning, he never ate the second one. After noticing the pattern, McGrady tried sending a single plum one morning — only to be informed of Charles’ request he still be served "two" plums rather than one.

If nothing else, at least, King Charles’ quirky insistence didn’t appear to waste any food. After all, McGrady wouldn’t throw away the uneaten plum but place it "back into the jar and save it."

Honey (up to six different types)

Beekeeper looking at honey comb

When most of us hear the words breakfast box, there’s a good chance we picture the latest limited-time Taco Bell breakfast meal. For King Charles, though — someone we’d wager has never tasted Taco Bell in his life — a breakfast box refers to his personal traveling cubby, filled with home-grown organic produce and other essential food items (via My London). The king’s breakfast box has gained notoriety in recent years for accompanying the man everywhere he goes, and for the peculiar items inside it. In fact, it doesn’t just include honey among its items — it contains six different varieties of the bee-derived sweet substance.

Now, it’s no surprise the new king’s eating habits can be a bit frustrating for his staff when it comes to the specific foods he’ll eat. Consequently, it’s not enough to include just one or two different types of honey for the monarch to enjoy while away, whether it’s for his breakfast, or his afternoon tea and crumpets (because, as we all know, British people have tea and crumpets every single day).

It’s unclear how often King Charles utilizes each of the six honey types he carries with him. But we suppose the idea of someone ensuring their favorite foods are on hand, just in case they’d like to enjoy them, is something we can all relate to.

Dried and fresh fruit

King Charles gardening

If you’ve ever seen a picture of King Charles (which, if you’re reading this article, you clearly have), you’re aware the 73-year old man is noticeably thin. Given the regimented requirements regarding his daily menu, it’s obvious his slight build isn’t accidental and helps explain the new king’s daily desire for fresh or dried fruit with his breakfast each morning (via My London).

It isn’t just plums — or, more accurately, according to former royal chef, Darren McGrady, a singular plum (via Yahoo News) — that his royal highness likes to enjoy when starting his day. Really, any fruit grown organically in the royal gardens appears acceptable to the monarch.

If he’s being served fresh fruit rather than dried, though, it most likely needs to be in season at that time. After all, as his former press secretary, Julian Payne, wrote in The Times (via The National News) in 2022, King Charles enjoys fruit salad each morning — but "seasonal fruit salad," as Payne specifically noted. Then again, we can’t really blame him for this preference. Would you accept anything less if you were the king or queen of England?

Meat or fish (only five days per week)

Sheep grazing

Having carved a role as one of the world’s most prominent environmentalist voices in recent years (via Fortune), there’s been rampant speculation regarding the future of the newly-minted King Charles and his environmental activism. But even if the man is unable to be as outwardly vocal for the cause he’s passionately championed in the past, he still appears likely to take some small, personal measures — such as not eating meat or fish two days per week to help reduce his own carbon footprint (via Express).

During an interview with BBC in 2021 (via Express), the then-prince stated "the thing about meat is … where does it come from, how is it grown?" Since we’ve come to better understand the detrimental impact of livestock and factory farming on climate change (via BBC), it’s no wonder King Charles would practice what he preaches. Additionally, how the animal was raised matters, as he’s unlikely to consume meat unless "it’s grass-based and from the right breeds."

Given the plethora of new duties required as king (versus a prince), some appear concerned he may lose his zeal for passionately promoting a green agenda. But if nothing else, fellow environmentalists can take solace in knowing King Charles is likely to continue doing his part with his dietary restrictions.

Cheesy baked eggs (for brunch on occasion)

King Charles sampling cheese with wife

Even royal family members need their cheat meals. So while King Charles is fairly committed to his (exceptionally boring, frankly unappetizing-sounding) usual breakfast of wheat germs, cereal grains, honey, and fruit, he’s been known to throw caution to the wind when it comes to brunch. He may be known for his many odd eating habits, but King Charles does have one fairly common favorite food: cheesy baked eggs.

A casserole consisting of eggs and cheese sounds positively scrumptious, even without any additional details of the recipe. Of course, thanks to an Instagram post released by Clarence House in May 2020, we do, in fact, know the precise recipe and ingredients. Released as a way to boost business for the slumping British cheese industry at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the post noted the dish could "be made by using any number of our great British cheeses."

It may not be the most exciting comfort food we’ve ever heard of. But if we were to enjoy the same dish as King Charles — with the same ingredients and royal staff preparing it — we’re confident that it would be an especially delicious dish to nosh on.

Wheat germ and cereal grain

Germinated wheat grain

Plenty of successful people are known to eat the exact same meals every single day. Victoria Beckham, for instance, has "very rarely deviated" from her preference for grilled fish and steamed vegetables each day, as her husband, David, told Vogue in 2022. This tracks with her fellow Brit, King Charles, who allegedly eats the same breakfast every single morning, according to author, Sally Bedell Smith (via Express): some combination of wheat germ and cereal grains.

If that sounds like bird food to you, well … that’s how his own son, Prince William, allegedly described the king’s well-known breakfast choice, too. As detailed by author Tina Brown, in her book "The Palace Papers" (via Express), William even once jokingly advised a royal guest not to "go near the bird table," which was how he described the buffet’s flaxseed — served specifically for his father.

It seems likely that King Charles’ morning meal routine informs his intense devotion to his traveling breakfast box. After all, one of the main items included in the box is a "special mueslis," according to former royal chef, Graham Newbould (via Yahoo News) — which almost certainly consists of different wheat germs and cereal grains consumed by the king.

Organic produce

Basket overflowing with fruits and vegetables

Many of us aspire to purchase and consume exclusively organic products. But the often exorbitant price tag surrounding those items can be difficult for the average person to afford. Of course, money is, quite literally, no object when it comes to the British Monarchy, so it’s hardly surprising King Charles is a vocal advocate for organic produce. But while some of us may be willing to make exceptions, when you’re the king? You don’t need to make exceptions.

Actually, as a dedicated environmentalist, King Charles doesn’t purchase organic produce, but rather grows a bounty of organic fruits and vegetables himself at his royal estates (via Voice of America). In fact, according to the Washington Post, the new king has owned his own personal organic farm dating back to 1985.

If you’re living in the United Kingdom, you can actually eat like King Charles does, too. His organic farm at Highgrove House has sold a number of its organically grown produce under the brand name Duchy Organic in Waitrose grocery stores. Not only that, but according to its website, Duchy Organic is actually "the U.K.’s largest own-label organic food and drink brand."

Warm cheese and biscuits

King Charles eating biscuit

As King Charles told BBC in 2021, he avoids eating dairy one day a week in an effort to reduce his environmental impact (via Express). The monarch still enjoys his cheese on those days he’s feeling less environmentally conscientious, though. In particular, he’s known to be fond of warm cheese and biscuits after certain meals, though the famously particular former prince will reportedly only eat the items if they are warmed — and warmed to the precise temperature he prefers (via My London).

Like his famous preference for a perfectly hard-boiled egg (via The Guardian), King Charles’ staff have noted the monarch will only eat a course of cheese and biscuits if they are heated before serving. To ensure the King’s preference can always be accommodated, royal staff even keep a warming pan nearby at all times.

As Graham Newbould noted to The Economic Times, King Charles can be "a bit fussy" when it comes to food, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that he will regularly skip a biscuit that fails to reach his preferred standard. After all, when you’re literal royalty, the phrase "you get what you get and you don’t get upset" doesn’t really apply.

Eggs (boiled exactly four minutes)

Pair of eggs boiling

There seem to be a lot of stories in circulation regarding King Charles’, ahem, persnickety personality. We suppose that’s just par for the course for a man who’s been a "pampered prince" since the moment he was born — hence that nickname being bestowed upon him by his staff (via The Economic Times). But stories regarding his hard-boiled egg preference seem particularly egregious, even if the veracity of some claims have been challenged by the royal family (via The Guardian).

As author, Jeremy Paxman, wrote in his 2006 book, "On Royalty" (via Daily Mail) King Charles allegedly requires seven eggs be prepared each morning of varying doneness. He then proceeds to test each egg, disposing of the six eggs he deems unworthy. Now, this particular claim was vehemently denied by Clarence House, where then-Prince Charles used to reside. But the fact it seems entirely plausible speaks to the reputation of the new king.

The truth behind the seven-eggs-each-morning story is murky. But as former royal chef, Mervyn Wycherley, told The Guardian in 2012, the idea that King Charles will only eat his eggs if they’re prepared properly rings true. "His eggs had to be boiled for exactly four minutes," Wycherley said at the time, stating it was "never anything other than a four-minute egg."

Locally foraged mushrooms

Mushroom growing in forest

Sort of like his obsession with exclusively eating organic produce from his own personal gardens, King Charles is a massive fan of mushrooms. As royal journalist Russell Myers said on the British talk show "Lorraine" in 2022 (via Hello! Magazine), the king’s "ideal meal is wild mushroom risotto with organic lamb." Yet the mushrooms can’t just be from anywhere. Specifically, as Myers stated, "the mushrooms obviously must be foraged from his own estate."

The notion that a person will only ingest a product grown and found on their own property may not be exactly obvious to the average person. But we’re past the point of considering King Charles — or any member of the royal family, for that matter — as normal human beings, right? That may be a bit harsh, actually, considering the new head of the British Monarchy has been known to forage for mushrooms on his own. Not only that, but in 2011, he was seen skipping a royal grouse hunt to perform his preferred task: taking a walking stick and wicker basket to collect his mushrooms (via Daily Mail).

We can’t give King Charles too much credit, though, as he doesn’t exclusively forage his own local fungi. As former royal chef, Darren McGrady, told Delish in 2020, Charles has been known to take his chefs on tours of his Balmoral estate — showing them "where the best … beautiful wild mushrooms" could be found for future reference.

Breakfast and dinner (not lunch)

King Charles sitting at dinner

We live in a world defined by blurring speed, where a go, go, go mentality is thrust upon each and every one of us at virtually all times. As a result, whether by design or accident, many adults (and, unfortunately, children dealing with food insecurity, as well) often find themselves skipping lunch. Of course, when utilized as a way of intermittent fasting, the absence of a full mid-day meal can be part of a healthy lifestyle — just ask King Charles, who, since at least 2004, has been known to skip lunch most days (via Daily Mail).

The precise rationale for this lifestyle preference doesn’t appear driven by one single factor. The choice to only eat a small breakfast, followed by a large, singular meal in the evening, may be motivated, at least in part, by "the problem of national obesity" in Britain. This is according to health expert, Rosemary Conley, based on conversations she had with the then-Prince Charles (via Daily Mail). Additionally, as journalist Gordon Rayner previously stated (via Cornwall Live), "lunch is seen as a luxury that gets in the way of his work, so he eats a late breakfast and works through" the day, instead.

No matter the reason, what King Charles eats during the day is much easier to define than what specific foods he’ll eat in a day. Like many modern adults, the new king of England can’t always find time to eat a meal between breakfast and dinner. But that’s just the way he seems to like it.