When we speak of "the royals," we refer to members of the British monarchy. Even though the royal family no longer has any political power — and exists only in a ceremonial capacity — this group of people still captures much of the nation’s attention. In England, the family is such a tabloid fixation, that they are often compared to the Kardashians, per House Beautiful. But today, it’s not just the British who care about the English monarchy. With the media circus surrounding events such as Princess Diana’s death, William and Kate’s wedding, and the Netflix show "The Crown," a growing number of Americans are paying attention to the royals. The celebrity status of these kings, queens, princes, and princesses has led us to care about everything they do — including what the royals eat.
With a combined net worth of a whopping $28 billion, according to Cosmopolitan, members of the British monarchy can afford to have private chefs catering to their every food desire. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t develop a few favorite foods. Some of the royal’s favorite meals are even more normal than you’d expect. Before her passing, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly preferred to drink Twinings for her daily cups of tea (via Royal Central). Other royals, like Prince Harry, stick to defining British dishes, such as Sunday roasts. But it’s not all that predictable. What each member of the family prefers to eat may shock you. Read on to discover 14 meals the royals loved to eat.
1. Queen Elizabeth II: Jam penny sandwiches
Queen Elizabeth II had a long life. She died on September 8, 2022, at the age of 96 (via the BBC). When you live nearly 100 years, people take an interest in your lifestyle and diet. According to People, she had a strict pattern of eating. The late queen would eat many of the same foods every day. She also had a few rules incorporated into her meal plan. She wouldn’t eat starches (such as pasta, rice, or potatoes) for dinner. Additionally, she wouldn’t eat shellfish or foie gras when dining out — this is a rule for the entire family — to avoid food poisoning (via Marie Claire). But when it came to tea time, the queen could never skip one of her favorite dishes: jam penny sandwiches.
Jam pennies are small snacks so-named for their size. The sandwiches are said to mimic the dimensions of the old English penny, and bread, butter, and jam are all that is required to make them.
Queen Elizabeth would faithfully eat a jam penny sandwich every day, according to her private chef of about 15 years, Darren McGrady. To eat something so much, you have to like it. We think it’s safe to say the queen loved eating jam penny sandwiches, probably more than most other foods.
2. Prince Philip: Salmon coulibiac
Prince Philip was the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II. The pair were married for 73 years, ending with Philip’s death on April 9, 2021, per BBC. Like the queen, Prince Philip lived a long life; he was 99 years old at the time of his death. Living nearly 100 years, people are eager to know what he ate. Fans of the monarchy may not be surprised to find out that the favorite dish of the late prince involved salmon, which is often considered one of the healthiest foods around. One of his most beloved meals was a dish called salmon coulibiac.
Salmon coulibiac is a Russian dish and a type of pirog, a category of Russian cuisine that refers to stuffed pies (via O Yummy). This fish-filled pirog is usually prepared with either salmon or sturgeon, along with buckwheat or rice. Other filling ingredients commonly include dill, hard-boiled eggs, and mushrooms. All of that gets wrapped in a package of puff pastry, which becomes buttery and flaky when baked. Finally, the whole thing is shaped into a loaf. This somewhat elaborate Russian recipe certainly seems fitting as a prince’s favorite.
3. King Charles III: Seared lamb with wild mushroom risotto
King Charles III recently became the head of the royal family when Queen Elizabeth II passed in September of 2022. The king has been known for his somewhat picky requests. This includes requests he makes of his kitchen staff.
Reportedly, one of his favorite meals is seared lamb with wild mushroom risotto, according to his personal chef, Darren McGrady, in an interview with Delish. However, due to his pickiness, the king has some specifics in mind for the dish. The mushrooms used must be organic. They must also be taken from his land. According to reports, Charles himself would show chefs where to forage the best wild mushrooms while staying at Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the British royal family. The lamb itself must also be organic. It sounds like a good meal, but we don’t envy the chef who has to cook it.
4. Camilla Parker Bowles: Canned beans on toast
Camila Parker Bowles is the wife of King Charles III. The two have been married for just over 15 years but as fans of the royal family know, their relationship dates back much further. Although the public upholds a strong devotion to the late Princess Diana, Parker Bowles has her fans, as well. Per Vanity Fair, even the queen liked her. Those who are hesitant to come to her support may be swayed by Parker Bowles’ somewhat pedestrian, yet patriotic, taste in food.
Reportedly, one of her favorite meals is a British classic: baked beans on toast (via You Magazine). The Queen consort isn’t as picky as her husband, who prefers organic food fresh from the farm or wild. However, she has one specific request: Parker Bowles says that the baked beans used must be from a can and must always be Heinz brand.
5. Prince William: Sushi
Prince William is the son of Princess Diana and King Charles III and is next in line for the throne. When he steps up, his wife, Kate Middleton, will become the Queen consort. This status has made many people interested in this royal couple. For food habits, the pair are known for being pretty healthy. As such, it makes sense that one meal Prince William loves to eat is sushi. While seafood and shellfish are foods that are typically banned from the family for health reasons, such as food poisoning, William and Kate like to break the rules on occasion and enjoy a roll or two.
In 2018, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Japan. While there, they were given a bento box as a gift (via Now to Love). When Prince William received the box, he responded by saying that he and Kate love sushi. Guess this gift was a winner!
6. Kate Middleton: Curry
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess of Wales, probably has one of the most talked-about diets out of the royal family. According to Express, it’s one of the most popular food-related Google searches out of all the British monarchs. Public attention stems in part from the Duchess’ beauty and physique. She’s known for maintaining that with a health-conscious diet that includes daily smoothies and she tends to stick to a mostly vegetarian diet. One of her favorite meals is spicy, Indian-style curry, a dish she particularly craved while pregnant.
Princess Kate likes to cook this dish for her family, on occasion. However, she said it was hard to make something pleasing to everyone in her family of five — William and Kate have three children — because everyone has a different spice tolerance. Regardless of the spice levels, the curry recipes that Middleton prefers are likely to be meat-free.
7. Prince George: Spaghetti carbonara
Prince George is the oldest son of Prince William and Princess Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. At only nine years old (in 2022) it could be a long time before he becomes king, but if his taste buds are any indication he’ll be a sophisticated one. Rather than asking for your typical kid-favorite meal of macaroni and cheese, according to celebrity chef Aldo Zilli, the prince’s favorite meal is spaghetti carbonara.
Spaghetti carbonara is a classic Italian dish. It is considered one of the four Roman pasta dishes, each with its iconic reputation in Italian cuisine. The only ingredients required are pork belly, eggs, cheese, and spaghetti, plus some olive oil and black pepper for added flavor. During the coronavirus lockdown, Kate began making fresh pasta, which makes the dish all the better. To young Prince George, the combination is delicious. While cheesy pasta is somewhat expected for a child, this version is just a little more advanced.
8. Princess Charlotte: Cheesy pasta
Princess Charlotte is the daughter of Prince William and Princess Kate. The 7-year-old is the sibling of Prince George and Prince Louis. She is the second child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, behind George. As one of the youngest members of the British royal family, Princess Charlotte is famous in her own right and people are eager to find out what she likes to eat. Her favorite meal is pretty standard for a child under 10 years of age. Princess Charlotte loves to eat cheesy pasta, such as macaroni and cheese.
The young princess may even know how to cook it herself. Her mother has said that Charlotte and George like to attempt making cheesy pasta together. We think you’ll be able to relate to a childhood love for buttered pasta with a dash of cheese. But while her favorite meal is accessible, Charlotte has some more divisive preferences: The kid also loves olives.
9. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Roast chicken
Prince Harry is the second son of King Charles III and the late Princess Diana. His wife, Megan Markle, is a former American actress. The two were married in 2018 and reportedly share a fondness for the same meal: roast chicken.
Since childhood, Prince Harry has been known for his love of this meal. Royal chef Darren McGrady said that both Prince Harry and his brother William loved to eat a meal of roasted chicken served with a side of macaroni and cheese.
Luckily for Harry, his wife loves this dish as well. Markle said she also likes cooking for her husband, by following recipes such as those created by celebrity chef Ina Garten. Harry must have approved of the meals Markle made for him because the dish became a shared tradition of theirs. Harry chose to propose to Megan while the two were making roast chicken together. Markle also shares an affection for other chicken recipes, such as Filipino-style chicken adobo.
10. Princess Anne: Deviled Pheasant
Princess Anne is the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. If you follow some of the eating habits of the British royal family, you may have already heard about Princess Anne’s love of overripe bananas. Once the fruits have over-ripened they are easier to digest, per this royal. But this isn’t the only food that she likes. Fans may be interested to find out that Princess Anne’s favorite meal is deviled pheasant, a traditional English meal centered around the game bird.
The technique of "deviling" a food usually comes from combining it with certain spices. But with deviled pheasant, spices aren’t the most notable ingredients. To make it, you begin by cooking two such game birds with ingredients such as garlic — even though eating this allium is forbidden by certain members of the royal family — onions, and carrots. After cooking, the bones are removed, leaving the meat to sit in the previously-made stew. Then, stiff whipped cream, mango chutney (preferably from the brand Sharwood’s Green Label), and Worcestershire sauce must be gathered and mixed. Eventually, you’ll drain the meat, combine it with the whipped cream mixture, and bake the whole thing again. The result is something of which Princess Anne can’t get enough.
11. Princess Eugenie: Croissants
Princess Eugenie is the daughter of Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah, making her the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. In her London home, she is often tempted to pick up croissants, which she claims are her favorite food.
In 2018, Princess Eugenie told Harper’s Bazaar that she has a special fondness for the classic French pastries. The Princess of York said she often encounters the smell of fresh croissants while at the gym or at Waitrose, a U.K. grocery store chain that is known for being an especially posh place to shop, per Reddit. However, like other members of the royal family, such as Kate Middleton, Princess Eugenie has a reputation for being health-conscious when it comes to food. If she can resist the smell of Waitrose croissants, she opts for a healthy meal at London’s Kingly Court, a food court located in West London.
12. Princess Beatrice: Vegan sushi
Princess Beatrice is also the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah, making her the sister of Princess Eugenie (via the Mirror). She is known for maintaining a healthy diet that includes following a vegan diet from time to time. For her 31st birthday, Princess Beatrice catered a completely "plant-based" menu, per Express. In doing so, she’s shown her affection for dishes like vegan sushi. She even served a dairy-free birthday cake. Later, in 2021, she dined at a London vegan restaurant called 123V. There, Princess Beatrice ordered the vegan sushi and reportedly really enjoyed the meal (via Vegan Food and Living).
As a vegan food, Princess Beatrice’s beloved meal is made without fish. Instead, various plant-based products take the place of seafood. Some restaurants offer vegan sushi with vegetable fillings made of ingredients like avocado. Since avocado is already a traditional ingredient in pescatarian sushi rolls, such as California Rolls or Philadelphia rolls, this helps keep the recipe tasting reminiscent of the real thing. You can even make an easier version of Princess Beatrice’s favorite meal to eat at home by creating a less technically-challenging vegan sushi bowl.
13. Princess Diana: Stuffed Bell Peppers
Even more than two decades after her passing in 1997, the public remains fascinated with the late Princess Diana. One of the main fascinations involves her health and eating habits since she was known to struggle with eating disorders (via Time). In addition to publicly speaking about those issues, she followed a healthy diet full of vegetables. One of Princess Diana’s favorite dishes was Eggs Suzette, which is essentially eggs benedict served inside of a baked potato.
Another meal Princess Diana especially loved was stuffed bell peppers, according to her private chef of approximately 10 years, Darren McGrady. To make it, mushrooms, zucchini, and rice were placed inside a bell pepper. Then, the whole thing was topped with cheeses like mozzarella and parmesan. Finally, a tomato sauce would be added for extra flavor. The whole thing would then be cooked to perfection. According to Chef McGrady, Princess Diana must have loved this meal, because she requested it multiple times per week.