Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
King Charles III’ Coronation is upon us, and the nation has been plunged into a right royal celebration like we haven’t seen since the Platty Joobs.
Given that this is the first time we’ve witnessed a monarch crowned in 70 years here in the UK, there’s no denying there’s excitement in the air. Royal quiches are being cooked, street parties are being organised and there’s so much bunting that you could probably line a few hundred football stadiums with the stuff.
So, here at Twisted we decided to get in on the fun and celebrate the King in the best way we know how… by chatting a bit about the food he loves to eat.
Want to get to know the new King a little better? Well we’re firm believers that the best way to learn about someone is over the dinner table, so we did a bit of digging into King Charles’ favourite foods, with the help of some accounts from royal experts, and his former royal chefs.
‘Eating like a King’
What does it mean to eat like royalty? Well, the King is defining this in a rather different way to his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Whilst, by her own chef’s admission, the Queen was “never a foodie,” and lived a rather regimented life when it came to food, the new King actually has quite broad tastes, and enjoys a variety of meals as they take his fancy, rather than sticking to a regimented diet.
“No two days are the same,” said former royal chef Darren McGrady about the King’s diet, during an interview with Delish, adding that the King has always had an interest in “what was being served and where it was sourced from”.
Yep, we have ourselves a fellow food lover on the throne.
So what are some of his particular favourites? And does he have any quirky eating habits?
King Charles loves eggs
The King’s tastes may be varied, but the food item he loves above all else is actually a household staple.
Apparently the King loves eggs. In fact, he and Camilla even keep their own chickens over at their home, Highgrove House, in Gloucestershire, and are said to enjoy their fresh produce regularly whenever they are there.
When asked the King’s favourite food on Lorraine, there was understandable speculation from the host that it’d be something fancy, but The Mirror’s royal editor, Russell Myers, said: “It’s more simple. It’s a boiled egg.”
To be more specific, the King loves a coddled egg, which is a boiled egg that has been cooked for a short amount of time – usually two to three minutes.
In fact, he is said to eat one with most meals, mashed into a side salad to create a texture similar to mayonnaise.
Netflix drama The Crown even makes reference to this, with a scene in which Camilla tells Princess Diana: “They made the cardinal mistake of refusing to put a soft boiled egg on top.” God forbid!
There have been rumours about how particular the King is about his coddled eggs, with one source claiming chefs would have to make seven eggs to ensure one was to his liking (this has since been debunked).
The King’s former chef Mervyn Wycherley did note that his egg’s preparation took very precise timing, though.
“His detectives radioed his ETA ahead. I always kept three pans boiling – just to be safe,” he said.
Clarence House’s official Instagram page has also nodded to the King’s love of eggs, referencing another recipe he often asks his chefs for – cheesy baked eggs.
He often enjoys this for brunch, apparently, and very nice it looks, too. If it’s good enough for the King, it’s good enough for us.
King Charles’ other favourite foods
The King has several other favourite foods, too, including a variety of fresh fruit and veggies.
McGrady says he is particularly partial to fruit picked from the garden at his home in Highgrove, but that plums are his absolute favourite of all.
Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary Secrets of the Royal Kitchen he recalled serving the King (then Prince) plums alongside his breakfast.
“The instruction was to put two plums and a little juice into the bowl and send it into him for breakfast,” he said. “I’d send in two plums and he would take one so it would come back out after breakfast, and I’d put the other plum back into the jar and save it.”
After spotting that one was always left, the chef decided to change things up.
“One morning I thought, ‘Okay, he only eats one for breakfast,’ so I only put one plum into the bowl and sent it out into the dining room.
“The attending (waiter) came through and said, ‘Can His Royal Highness have two please?’ So I had to keep sending two in every morning,” he laughed.
Looks like plums are an essential, then!
On the vegetable front, the King is also very fond of one in particular – the mushroom.
“He loves wild mushrooms and would take his chefs to Balmoral to show them where the best mushrooms are,” the chef previously recounted on ITV’s Lorraine. “We brought them back to Buckingham Palace and they were the most amazing porcini mushrooms.”
In fact, King Charles is so fond of foraged mushrooms that he even once took renowned chef Antonio Carluccio to Balmoral to search for them, and is said to have spent the hours ahead of The Queen’s death foraging in the woods at Birkhall – the estate he owns on Royal Deeside – according to royal correspondent Robert Jobson in his book Our King.
There’s no denying he found the process comforting, and felt at home when hunting for the ingredient, but how did he best like to eat it?
Royal expert Russell Myers added on Lorraine that the King’s favourite meal ever (apart from eggs) is “wild mushroom risotto,” using the produce from the land. This is because he is a big lover of Italian food.
You can find his recipe for a wild mushroom risotto from former royal chef, Darren McGrady, below:
He would often eat this with a rack of lamb – another of his favourites.
Reflecting on when he “cooked a lot at Buckingham Palace”, chef McGrady recalls: “When the [then] Prince of Wales was there, [lamb] was often on the menu.
“He’d request it. He’s a big fan of lamb.”
McGrady also talks of the King enjoying an Irish Stew when he was younger, if he was craving something comforting, telling how he’d often make it on Fridays or Saturdays after hunts were hosted at Sandringham.
King Charles often skips lunch
You might expect a royal household to host an abundance of meals in a day, but King Charles is said to eat just two main meals usually – breakfast and dinner.
Former royal correspondent Gordon Rayner is the one who revealed this, adding that the King saw lunch as a “luxury” due to his jam-packed schedule.
Clarence House then confirmed the royal typically only ate two meals, back in 2018.
Whether this is still the case now he is King is unknown, but we can’t imagine his schedule has got any lighter – if anything, the contrary!
King Charles once loved fishing eating the fish he caught
Before his undertook duties as King, the monarch also loved to eat fish he’d caught whilst fishing – and even got his sons, Prince Williams and Prince Harry in on his hobby.
“Prince Charles is an avid fisherman and would spend hours in the Dee, often alongside the Queen Mother with water to the tops of their waders,” Darren McGrady wrote in his cookbook, noting when they’d visit River Dee.
“He would heft enormous salmon into the royal kitchen to be weighed, tagged, and catalogued.”
McGrady added that the King would then personally decide how the fish was prepared, taking pride in his catch of the day.
“The salmon was so fresh its eyes seemed to follow you around the room,” he wrote. “None of the chefs were allowed to touch it until instructions were sent from upstairs.
“Usually it would be grilled, poached, or broiled with a garnish and served on silver in the dining room.”
King Charles favours all things organic
Former Royal Chef Carolyn Robb has ALSO spoken about how King Charles is “a great supporter and a great leader of the organic movement.”
“He was into organic farming … before it was even invented, I think,” former Royal chef Darren McGrady added to Delish.
Indeed, he owns one of the first certified organic farms in the UK, and is said to boast an “incredible vegetable garden” at the Duchy Estate.
The King started Duchy Originals in 1990 and today you can find produce from the organisation at Waitrose, under the name Waitrose Duchy Organic.
“Since the beginning of the 1980s, when I first had responsibility for managing some land in my own right at Highgrove, I have wanted to focus on an approach to food production that avoids the impact of the predominant, conventional system of industrialised agriculture, which, it is increasingly clear to see, is having a disastrous effect on soil fertility, biodiversity and animal and human health,” King Charles said of the venture to Country Life magazine.
King Charles often has a plant-based diet
Whilst we know about the King’s love for lamb and meaty stews in the past, more recently he’s been living a more plant-based lifestyle – at least for some of his meals.
“The business of what we eat of course is important,’ the famously climate conscious King said in 2021, as he appeared on the BBC’s Big Interviews.
“For years I haven’t eaten meat and fish on two days a week and I don’t eat dairy products on one day a week. Now, I mean, that’s one way to do it… [but] if more did that you would reduce a lot of the pressure on the environment and everything else.”
When the King does eat meat, he places particular importance on where it comes from.
“So if it’s grass-based and from the right breeds, you know if it is better quality but eaten less often,” he said. “That approach to farming is less damaging than the industrialised approach with intensive everything, and causing huge pressures and damage.”
You’ll hear more about the King’s concerns not only for the environment but animal welfare below…
King Charles doesn’t have a sweet tooth
The Queen was known for her love of sweet foods. In fact, she even had to tell her catering team to start making less cakes because she was so partial to them.
Former royal chef Robb said the same doesn’t apply to King Charles, though.
“He really doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth,” he said to Delish, adding that if cake was served at Afternoon Tea, the monarch would rarely eat it.
With this in mind, the below will make more sense…
Is King Charles a picky eater?
As you can tell by now, the King has his particularities, mostly with regard to sustainability and using fresh, local foods.
However, there are a few ingredients he won’t abide in his kitchen, and one of those is chocolate.
The King’s Welsh Culinary Team, Graham Tinsley MBE, confirmed the King’s dislike for the sweet treat in an interview with HELLO! magazine – but it didn’t stop there, either.
“[King] Charles doesn’t like chocolate, he doesn’t like coffee, nor does he like garlic. So we do have to consider these things when we’re creating a menu for him,” Graham said. No garlic in his favourite mushroom risotto?! Now that’s a real shame….
Spicy foods are also a no-go for the King, according to YouTubers Joshua Carrot and Oliver Kendal, who attended a reception with the King to celebrate the impact of East and South-East Asian communities in Britain.
The duo run a channel called Korean Englishman and were said to have asked the King if he liked Korean food, only for him to reply that he didn’t like food that was too hot.
Joshua told PA: “He said he was a big fan of the food. He liked everything unless it was a bit too spicy.”
You learn something new every day!
Perhaps the King’s fussiest trait is that he doesn’t like biscuits unless they’ve been pre-warmed to a specific temperature.
The Independent report a royal source saying: “Charles enjoys cheese and biscuits at the end of many of his meals. Since he’s particular about everything, he insists that they be a certain temperature. The staff keeps a warming pan just to make sure they are hot enough for his liking.” Oooh er!
The King also made headlines when he banned the controversial French dish, foie gras [which is a French dish which sees geese and ducks force-fed, so that their livers grow fatty] in all royal households.
Andrew Farquharson, deputy master of the household at Clarence House, said: “The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras”.
The King was largely praised when he banned the product in 2022, with animal activist groups saying it showed promise that he’d lead humanely.
Whilst he might not be a fan of coffee, the King does like a cup of tea – it’s basically a prerequisite of being British, isn’t it?!
Apparently his favourite is Darjeeling with honey and milk, which was actually the favourite of his mother, The Queen, too.
The tea is very fragrant – originating from West Bengal, India – and is traditionally served in Buckingham Palace.
King Charles’ banquet essentials
Like a lot of us, King Charles isn’t a lover of unseasoned food, and he’s developed a pretty smart solution to ensure his meals never fall short.
“Wherever he goes for a banquet, he always takes a few things with him to be placed on his table,” Tinsley explains to HELLO!
“He always takes a little silver Maldon sea salt container, and his favourite cushion. You can always spot [King] Charles’ place setting at a table, because all his bits and pieces are there.”
We might start doing this, tbh.
Why did King Charles pick quiche for his Coronation?
You might assume quiche is one of the King’s favourite dishes, seeing as he chose it as the official dish of his Coronation.
Indeed, he clearly likes the dish, but none of his chefs have mentioned it in particular as one of his personal favourites in the past.
Instead, the monarch said he and Camilla chose quiche as the meal of the occasion due to the fact it was a “good sharing dish,” can be adapted to dietary requirements and is served hot or cold.
Basically, it’s super versatile, making it great for celebrations like this.
You can find Twisted Green’s incredible quiche recipe here if you wanna knock one up over the weekend.
Naturally, we’ll never know all the ins and outs of King Charles’ eating habits and his favourite foods, but even these small titbits give a glimpse into his life and his character.
Whilst we can’t agree with his stance on chocolate, we can all take a leaf out of his book when it comes to eating with the planet in mind, and focusing on locally sourced produce.