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What does the Queen really eat and drink?

If the Queen really ate and drank everything that she is rumoured to indulge in on a daily basis, she would likely present a very different picture of health.

Alongside the endless banquets, gala lunches and five-course dinners, the Queen is said to said to daily take in an afternoon tea of scones, cakes and finger sandwiches daily, alongside cocktails, wine and Champagne.

While afternoon tea seems like an entirely appropriate activity for the Queen of England, if one was doing so on a daily basis it begs the question, how does one stay so trim?

This week Business Insider claimed that Her Majesty knocks back four drinks (two glasses of wine and two cocktails) every day. If it is to be believed, the Queen enjoys a gin and Dubonnet with lemon and ice before lunch, a glass of wine with lunch, later a dry martini, and finally a glass of Champagne before bed.

While this no doubt makes for a good headline, it’s unlikely to be completely true (although the Queen is well known for her love of Dubonnet and gin).

Indeed, this week former Royal Chef Darren McCreedy, who worked in the Royal Household’s kitchen from 1982 through 1993, shed some truth on her food and drink habits while speaking to CNN.

Referring to all the “silly little pieces in the papers”, in which he’s quoted as saying she has four drinks a day, he said: “She’d be pickled if she drank that much,” he said. “All I said was she likes a gin and Dubonnet. That’s her favourite drink.”

With a pinch of salt, we have rounded up some of the most oft-spouted food and drink habits of Her Majesty…


According to the Queen’s former royal chef, Darren McGrady, the Queen eats breakfast at around 9am. Cornflakes or Special K, with a spoonful or two of apricots, prunes or some macadamia nuts from a Tupperware box, are said to be her most common breakfast of choice.

Sometimes she will have a boiled egg, or just toast and marmalade. Her tea of choice is said to be Earl Grey (no milk or sugar) in a bone china cup.


If you totted up what the Queen drank in one day, according to various publications, she would be drinking a gin and Dubonnet with lemon and ice before lunch, a glass of wine with lunch, another Dubonnet and gin before dinner, a dry martini and glass of Champagne at night.

While this line-up does shed some light on her preferences, this five-drink routine is unlikely to be a daily occurrence. What is clear, is that the Queen holds a particular fondness for a gin and Dubonnet (a sweet wine-based aperitif), served with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice. It’s likely she uses Gordon’s Gin, which has a royal warrant.



The Queen’s hectic social schedule means that she is very often treated to five-course banquets on a level of indulgence that would would force most people to the gym five times a week. How does she balance her opulent lifestyle?

According to McGrady, on nights where one is not out at an event one will “stick to grilled or poached fish with some vegetables and salad”, with no potatoes or starch.

“That’s it. That’s all she has,” he said. “She’s very disciplined like that. She could have anything she wanted, but it is that discipline that keeps her so well and so healthy.”

Lunch is typically served at 1pm, with grilled Dover sole, on a bed of wilted spinach or with courgettes a likely dish.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is apparently a daily ritual for the Queen, and comes with fingers sandwiches, crusts cut off, along with scones, cakes and biscuits, possibly McVitie’s, which holds a Royal Warrant.

McGrady has previously revealed Her Majesty’s favourite cakes to be honey and cream sponge, ginger, fruit and the chocolate biscuit cake that Prince William also chose to be served at his wedding reception. He also said he held a particular fondness for jam pennies – tiny raspberry jam sandwiches cut into circles the size of an old English penny.


Apparently the Queen isn’t a big fan of wine. But if she does have a glass of wine with dinner glass of wine with dinner it would likely be a German sweet wine, said McGrady. “Just in the evening,” he added. “She certainly doesn’t drink four glasses a day.”
Berry Bros and Rudd has long held a Royal Warrant, supplying wine and spirits to the Royal Household, along with Corney & Barrow.


Then for dinner there would be game or fish such as pheasant from Sandringham or venison or salmon from Balmoral.

Much of the Royal Household’s vegetables, fish and meat is sourced from Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wale’s organic farmstead, as well as the Queen’s estates in Balmoral, Buckingham and Windsor Palaces.

The Queen and Duke of Lancaster also own the the Duchy of Lancaster – a rural estate that consists of 18,433 hectares of land in England and Wales and includes commercial, agricultural and residential properties, the majority of which are in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire.

Interestingly, the Queen is not a fan of garlic, which is apparently banned throughout the entire palace.


Herve Dantan, Lanson’s chef de caves

Apparently the Queen likes to, on occasion, finish her day with a glass of Champagne, which she is said to prefer to still wine.

Nine Champagne brands hold a Royal Warrant including Bollinger, Pol Roger, Mumm, Krug, Lanson, Laurent Perrier, Champagne Roederer, Moët & Chandon and Veuve Clicqot.

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