Here's Why Prince Philip Preferred Eating Without The Queen

Prince Philip, according to what royal chef, Darren McGrady, famously told Delish, was "a real foodie": a garlic lover, a curry enthusiast, and a spice buff, who once cooked his family (along with all the palace staff) dinner on the grill at Balmoral. At Balmoral, the royal family's Scottish summer estate, Prince Philip cooking on the grill was the norm, not the exception. You might have found him there four or five days a week. 

The Duke of Edinburgh not only knew his way around a kitchen; he was also not afraid to get a little bit contentious about food. Take, for example, the time that Philip ate a meal prepared by Gallic chef, Regis Crépy: bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, kedgeree, croissants, and pain au chocolate (via Independent). Afterward, he declared, "The French don't know how to cook breakfast." Or, consider the time, when visiting the Scottish Women's Institute, that the prince rebelliously quipped, "British women can't cook" (via BBC).

The prince was so intent on having things his way, royal footman Charles Oliver once wrote in "Dinner at Buckingham Palace" (via Express), that Philip used to travel with an electric glass-lidded frying pan. He cooked up his own morning meals, including bacon, smoked haddock, omelets, and sausages. Once, he even shot, cleaned, and cooked a snipe bird on his own (via Hello!). And, it was exactly because Philip liked food — and the preparation of it — so much that he may have preferred to dine without his wife.

What Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip ate, when together

"Prince Philip has a much broader palate than Her Majesty when it comes to food. The queen eats to live whereas Prince Philip lives to eat," McGrady explained to Delish. Of course, Queen Elizabeth's much more subdued dietary preferences ruled when the married couple dined together. "It was always down to the queen, you have everything how she has it," McGrady admitted. "I think sometimes Prince Philip actually enjoyed eating on his own."

Just ask Woman's Day journalist, Elissa Sanci, who tried eating like Queen Elizabeth for a week. If you like a lot of flavor, it's hard. Sanci described the queen's diet as "painfully monotonous" and "bland," noting Her Majesty's affinity for breakfast cereals, grilled chicken, steamed veggies, and cucumber sandwiches. Not exactly the diet filled with spicy curries that Prince Philip is said to have enjoyed, is it? Then there's the fact that royals were generally told to stay away from Philip's favorite ingredients, in order to maintain pristine breath for public appearances. As Prince Charle's wife, Camilla Parker Bowles once admitted to Master Chef Australia, "I hate to say this, but ... garlic is a no-no" (via Delish). So, unfortunately, are onions.

Of course, when Prince Philip retired from royal life in 2017, he moved permanently to the royal's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England. Queen Elizabeth stayed at Buckingham Palace (via Woman & Home). It's safe to bet that at Sandringham, the Duke of Edinburgh's culinary preferences ruled — at least, that is, until the winter holidays, when his wife joined him to celebrate Christmas. 

What Prince Philip used to cook for Queen Elizabeth

Another point of disagreement between Her Majesty and His Majesty? Drinks. Queen Elizabeth may be faithful to her gin, German sweet wines, and champagnes, but her husband, like his grandson, Prince William, was a beer person. When dining with the Prime Minister of Italy, Philip once turned down every single one of the wines offered to him. "Get me a beer. I don't care what kind it is, just get me a beer!" the Duke of Edinburgh reportedly demanded (via Independent).

It wasn't all stormy weather when it came to the meals that the queen and her consort shared together. Like any happy marriage, sometimes Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip met in the middle. Darren McGrady told Delish that the two royals both had a soft spot for fresh salmon. Neither, according to Charles Oliver's "Dinner at Buckingham Palace," was a fan of fresh oysters (via Reader's Digest). Finally, on more than one occasion, the Duke of Edinburgh would cook a meal for both him and his wife. 

"The Prince is also adept at producing quick, light supper snacks, which he and the queen often enjoy after they have dismissed the servants for the night," Oliver wrote in his book (via Express). After hours, Philip would reportedly make his wife "scrambled eggs and smoked haddock, mushrooms sautéed in butter with bacon, Scotch woodcock with mushrooms, and omelet[s] with bacon." Presumably, the prince was free to add a bit of extra garlic and spices to his midnight meals.