Prince Charles’ eating habits are more like an eccentric retired Colonel’s than King Henry VIII’s, while his mother’s banana-eating style is a bit too complicated, according to Stephen Jardine.
Who would want to be King?
As a child it might have seemed a nice idea but that was more about getting to wear a crown and go everywhere with a police escort with sirens and flashing lights.
Once you realise the job actually involves doing nothing but being judged badly for it while surrounded by the most ghastly bunch of sycophants, it seems a lot less attractive.
For me the one redeeming factor would be the food and drink. Three meals cooked a day by someone else using the finest ingredients with no washing up and full access to the famous wine cellars of Buckingham Palace could just about make up for a life of pointless duty.
Except that is not how Prince Charles sees it.
As the heir to the throne reached 70 this week, a revealing newspaper interview lifted the lid on his eating habits. With access to the best chefs in London, he could literally eat like a king but instead his diet is more fitting for an eccentric retired Colonel living deep in rural Perthshire.
It all starts with breakfast when Charles sits down to an egg boiled for exactly four minutes. With that, he has a cup of Darjeeling tea with milk and honey.
Next stop should be lunch but this week it was revealed that is one meal the Prince always skips.
We don’t know why. It may be to keep him in shape to fit into those old-fashioned, double-breasted suits.
Alternatively, he may have worked out that avoiding lunch reduces by a third the number of inconsequential conversations he has to have with strangers every single day.
Lack of lunch must mean it is a hungry Prince who sits down to dinner every night and this is when his eccentric tastes get full reign.
A keen shot, it seems a meal is not a meal for Charles unless it has been blasted from the sky.
Favourite dishes include pheasant crumble pie and coq au vin, made using grouse. Indicating a borderline obsession with the small game birds, the Prince also claims to have invented a version of moussaka using grouse. He calls it groussaka. No wonder they are in short supply on the grouse moors this year. Charles has eaten them all.
Back in the day, the royals really knew how to eat and drink. Henry VIII liked to dine on lobster, swan and porpoise followed by copious amounts of custard. Now that is living. He wasn’t a patch on Charles II who once sat down to 145 dishes and that was just for starters. Even Queen Victoria was partial to hare’s kidney and plum toast but it has been downhill ever since.
If Charles and his boiled egg sum up a more mundane royal approach to food, he has his mum to blame.
This week a former royal chef revealed the approach the Queen takes to a humble banana. To avoid eating one like a monkey, her majesty insists on chopping off the bottom and top before slicing the skin length-ways. She then carefully removes the banana, cuts it into chunks and eats it with a knife and fork.
Even at the remarkable age of 92, I think we can all agree, life is just too short for that.