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What will the Royal Family eat for Christmas dinner?

Every year, the Royal Family gathers at Sandringham in Norfolk to spend the holidays. Between church, a gift exchange, and Christmas dinner, one could say they celebrate just like any other family. In this case, their holiday meals might be a bit more fancy than others.

Chef Darren McGrady, who cooked for the Royal Family from 1982 to 1998, gave some insight to Marie Claire UK about the holiday foods the family enjoys. The day starts with a pre-church breakfast including sausage, bacon, and eggs. After their annual church service, it’s time to regroup before a big night of festivities. The royals dine on traditional sides like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and parsnips in addition to main dishes like a salad with shrimp or lobster, and a roasted turkey. Naturally, there needs to be dessert and the family has a few options like brandy butter or Christmas pudding.

After watching The King’s Christmas speech in the afternoon, afternoon tea is served with fruitcake. It’s just a “snack” compared to the buffet dinner to follow later, which includes 15 to 20 different items. Family members have a wide array of options to choose from including a carving station with a variety of roasted meats, cooked vegetables, and seafood. Once again, there are plenty of options for dessert (as there should be.) There is a flaming pudding with brandy butter, and of course, gingerbread cookies. For those of age, there are libations like hard cider and cherry brandy.

When it comes to the favourite foods of the Royal Family, Chef McGrady said there are a few very specific favourites. That includes potted shrimp, and a buttery spread with chopped, seasoned, and cooked shrimp on toast. Shredded Brussels sprouts with onions and bacon, and beef bourguignon is also a must-have; this is a French dish made with version and one Queen Elizabeth II is said to have preferred.

About author

My name is Sydney Zatz and I am a University of Iowa graduate. I graduated with a degree in journalism and sports studies, and a minor in sport and recreation management. A highlight of my college career was getting the chance to study abroad in London and experiencing royal history firsthand. I have a passion for royals, royal history, and journalism, which led me to want to write for Royal Central.