Queen Elizabeth II's Personal Chef Had An Adorably Unexpected Duty

When chef Darren McGrady began working at Buckingham Palace, he told Hello! Magazine he thought he'd be "preparing banquets for kings, queens, and presidents." Instead, he cooked for a very different crowd: Queen Elizabeth II's corgis.

McGrady recalled that, to the queen, the corgis' meals were almost as important as the peoples'. Each day, the dogs got a selection of fresh, chopped chicken, beef, liver, and rabbit. He recounted on his YouTube channel that the dogs were also fed cabbage and rice to help with their digestion. The most important part of preparing the dogs' food was to make sure the meat was very finely diced — a style called a "brunoise" — to be sure there were no bones in the meat that they might choke on.

McGrady worked for the royal family for 11 years (via Hello! Magazine). He recalled on YouTube that he first met the queen and her dogs at the same time, on the grounds of Balmoral Castle in Scotland. He was taking a walk along the river and came across them, but ended up running away when the dogs chased him. The queen "thought it was really funny," he recounted.

Memories of the royal family

Darren McGrady explained on YouTube that the royal family had corgis since 1933, when King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) adopted one. The future queen later received a corgi for her 18th birthday and fell in love with them. By May 2020, when McGrady made his video, she'd had more than 30 corgis but only had two "dorgis" — corgi-dachshund mixes — named Vulcan and Candy.

McGrady remembered that the dogs could sometimes be annoying and that the queen's grandsons, Princes William and Harry, weren't big fans of them because they barked so much. McGrady fondy remembered working with William and Harry when they were young, helping them cook for their mother, Princess Diana. He specifically recalled teaching them to make asparagus frittatas for her. He said the princess would stay home with her sons on Mother's Day, often cooking with them, while she gave her staff the day off. "It was really thoughtful of her," McGrady said (via Hello! Magazine).