Princess Diana's bulimia struggle was very real reveals royal chef who made desserts for her to eat in private

Princess Diana's bulimia battle is depicted in 'The Crown' and new movie 'Spencer'—now her former chef has shared his own insight

Princess Diana's bulimia struggles appear apparent in photo of her face looking thin. She is wearing the Spencer family tiara and pearl and diamond earrings which were a gift from the Emir of Qatar.
(Image credit: Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

The Queen's former chef has shared an insight into Princess Diana's bulimia battle, revealing that she was very much struggling with the eating disorder during the hardest times of her life in the royal family. 

  • Aspects of Princess Diana's bulimia battle were witnessed first-hand by ex royal chef Darren McGrady, who says "the Princess was struggling". 
  • The member of palace staff, who made desserts for Diana to eat in the kitchen away from the Queen, says saying "it happened" is "an understatement". 
  • This royal news comes after the Queen's Christmas tradition of weighing her dinner guests was explained.

After being portrayed in 'Spencer' by Sean Harris, Darren McGrady uploaded a YouTube video to share some of his thoughts on the new Princess Diana film and to recount some of his experiences, being her former chef. 

Darren spent 11 years cooking for the Queen at royal residences such as Buckingham Palace and the Sandringham Estate, before going on to work exclusively for Princess Diana at Kensington Palace in the years after her split from Prince Charles. 

During the 15-minute-long video, Darren touched on the depiction of Princess Diana's bulimia in the likes of 'Spencer', starring Kristen Stewart as Diana, and 'The Crown' season 4

Princess Diana's bulimia - Diana, Princess of Wales, attends a banquet at the Guildhall in London in November 1982. Commments were made on how thin she looked and this led to rumours of anorexia or bulimia. In later years the Princess admitted that she had suffered from Bulimia

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

"The bulimia. It did happen. That was an understatement" he said, adding, "The Princess was struggling." 

Going on to share an insight into his relationship with Diana, who he says he always called 'Her Royal Highness', Darren says that he would always make sure she was able to have her favorite dessert when she came to dine with the Queen. 

He remembered how Diana would be reluctant to ask Her Majesty for seconds, but would come down to the kitchen to enjoy sweet treats with him while chatting about musicals. 

Recollections of Princess Diana's eating disorder in TV and film often show her sneaking into the royal kitchens to frantically binge on cakes and puddings. These on-screen moments precede hard-to-watch scenes of the Princess of Wales kneeling down at the toilet to make herself sick, before scrubbing her hands and brushing her teeth. 

Despite Princess Diana's bulimia and clearly complicated relationship with food, Darren speaks of fond memories of Diana enjoying crepe souffle in his kitchen. 

Princess Diana's bulimia - Diana, Princess of Wales arrives at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, for a charity gala performance, 8th December 1982. The Princess is wearing a dress designed by Bellville Sassoon

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

"It was her favorite pudding, it really was. I say pudding because 'dessert' means fresh fruit to the royal family," he said. 

"I remember suggesting it to the Queen for lunch when the Princess was there. I had to give her two choices, so I suggested another pudding that the Queen didn't like. That way I was pretty sure the Queen would choose the crepe souffle. 

"It worked every time! So the Princess got her crepe souffle when she came to visit the Queen"

"I knew the Princess would come down to the kitchen for seconds," Darren continued. 

"She was too scared to ask for seconds in front of the Queen. She'd come down and she'd sit on the table in the kitchen. She'd be eating away at this crepe souffle and she'd be talking about Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.

"They were fun times."

Caitlin Elliott
News Editor

Caitlin is News Editor for woman&home, covering all things royal, celeb, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Caitlin started on local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree. She also worked in Fashion PR as a Press Assistant for Arcadia's Topshop before becoming a part of the Now team. Caitlin went on to add the likes of Woman, GoodtoKnow, WhatToWatch and woman&home to her writing repertoire before moving on to her current role.