The Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences revealed by former royal patisserie chef

The Royal Family reportedly have a specific preference for 'certain plates' for mealtimes depending on the time of day...

Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences revealed, seen here is a table setting at Windsor Castle
(Image credit: Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)

The Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences have been revealed by a former royal patisserie chef and they’re truly surprising. 


The Royal Family are known for their rather intriguing food preferences and dining habits, from the common foods the royals are banned from eating to the late Queen’s bizarre way of eating hamburgers. However, it seems that it’s not just what and how they enjoy eating their favorite meals that is so often intriguing, but the plates they eat off too. The Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences when it comes to how their food is served have been revealed by a former royal patisserie chef and let’s just say the time of day is very important...

Getting candid on behalf of Slingo (opens in new tab) about her experience working in the Windsor Castle pastry kitchen, Fiona Burton has claimed that whilst many people might have “good crockery” and everyday plates, the royals have three types of plates.

Kitchen staff work in the Royal Kitchen at Windsor Castle in Windsor

(Image credit: DAVID PARKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Whilst admitting that she “can’t divulge too much”, Fiona confessed that there were “certain plates” that they had to use in the mornings, at lunchtime and in the evenings.

“[T]here were certain plates that we had to use for service, so it was bronze in the morning, silver for lunch and gold at night,” she shared, before revealing, “It was one of my duties to go and collect them and polish them.”

The Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences for moving through three types of crockery across the source of the day is rather surprising. In sporting events bronze, silver and gold denote third, second and first place, but it’s not clear if a similar tier system was attached to the color of the plates.

An employee poses by the table in the State Dining Room which has been decorated for the Christmas period with silver-gilt pieces from the Grand Service

(Image credit: Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Though it certainly adds a sense of glamor as well as providing a clear, visual indication of the time of day. This also wasn’t the only revelation made by the former royal patisserie chef, as Fiona also described Prince Philip as a “regular” visitor to the palace kitchen.

“[W]hen he did come into the pastry kitchen, he was interested in what we were making, it wasn’t necessarily requests for anything. At that point, that’s when you’re allowed to engage and acknowledge,” she said. “That was pretty special because he was the one out of all [of the royals] that ever came down and wandered around. He was the one who would actually talk to us.” 

Following the Duke of Edinburgh's death in April 2021, Prince Harry dubbed him the “master of the barbecue”, highlighting his grandfather’s interest in cooking and grilling in particular. 

Prince Philip grills with Princess Anne

(Image credit: © KEYSTONE Pictures USA via Alamy)

Prince Philip’s culinary prowess was also remarked upon by Prince William in the BBC Prince Philip documentary where he said, “Every barbecue that I’ve ever been on, the Duke of Edinburgh has been there cooking. We go on barbecues, and there’s no chef, there’s [no-one] else.”

His keen interest in cooking could perhaps be seen in his reported visits to the palace kitchen. And though his relaxed outdoor barbeques might not have been served in line with the Royal Family’s unique mealtime preferences of bronze, silver and gold plates, this intriguing tradition within the palaces could perhaps have endured to this day. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.