Princess Anne loves 'unusual' aeroplane food and the meals are so her

'It was such a pleasant change from all the poncey first class food'

Princess Anne aeroplane food
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Anne reportedly loves 'unusual' aeroplane food and eats 'steak and kidney pie or chicken and leek pie' whenever she is flying to royal engagements. 

It's fair to say that the Royal Family experience life a little differently to the rest of us. But while King Charles and Queen Camilla do get to attend magnificent banquets with envious guest lists, the family are all still human and enjoy many of the same weird and wonderful habits as the rest of them, especially when it comes to their favourite foods. 

From Princess Anne's unusual breakfast choice that could be the secret to her tireless energy and the Princess Royal's walk-in-fridge reportedly being her 'favourite place', to Queen Elizabeth's nerdy trick that stunned lunch guests, royal mealtimes are likely more 'normal' than many imagine. But while their day-to-day meals may not be to dissimilar to our own, when Kate Middleton and Prince William's luxurious £3.3K airport snack was revealed, the travel foods the royals rely on seemed to be vastly different to the average person's. 

But now a former royal pilot has revealed the food often served to Princess Anne during her oversees travels and the meals are a far cry from the 'first class food' we'd expect her to be eating. 

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

King Charles' former pilot, Graham Laurie, shared on HELLO! Magazine's A Right Royal Podcast, "The lovely thing was that we got all our food from British Airways at Heathrow. In the Andover [the model of plane the royals used to travel in], the best description was like cooking in a caravan

"There was a small hot plate, it looked a bit like a kettle, but it was a hot jug that you could heat water up in, you could make coffee in and so forth. But when we got the 146 [the model of plane the royals now most often travel in] we had a full airline galley. So we could take food from frozen, and at top of climate it was ready to serve just as you would in a normal airliner. The passenger was nearly always the Princess Royal. Because one of her patronships is Save the Children firm."

So you've got a tiny little kitchen and a member of the Royal Family to feed, what do you do? According to Laurie, you break open the tinned foods and whip up what you can. He revealed, "We had to provide food for her, so we never left Benson without what I call the bottom line in catering. Those wonderful flat-tinned meat pies by Fray Bentos. And we'd do that we take tinned vegetables, tinned potatoes, the stewards would tart up a gravy. Add a few spices to it. And we'd serve steak and kidney pie or chicken and leek pie. And do you know they used to love it?"

Princess Anne

(Image credit: Stu Forster/Getty Images)

He added, "I think it was such a pleasant change from all the poncey first class food. She enjoyed it. I mean, she may have had it at home as well, I don't know. But certainly, it was unusual to serve it in the aircraft."

It's maybe not a surprise that Anne adores the simple aeroplane food - she reportedly serves those same flat-tinned meat pies by Fray Bentos to dinner guests who come to visit her royal estate! 

It's said that the main reason Anne enjoys simpler dinners is because, generally, she's a fan of 'no fuss' undertakings. According to the MailOnline, she has always preferred to serve 'whichever [food] she could defrost the quickest,' and often ends up repeating the same side dishes of boiled potatoes and either peas or green beans to guests visiting her home. 

Speaking about her cooking habits, Anne herself previously shared, according to HELLO!, "After all, one wants everyone out of the house by 9.15 pm at the latest. For pudding, I pass them a choc ice to eat in the car!"

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Freelance news writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with Good To, BBC Good Food and The Independent.