Royal chef who cooked for Queen Elizabeth dies age 66
Royal chef who made fish and chips and penny sandwiches for the Queen and quipped his cooking was keeping Princess Diana on ‘the front pages’ dies age 66
- Michelin chef Graham Newbould, from Yorkshire, died suddenly on March 2
- Worked at Buckingham Palace for two years and six years at Kensington Palace
- Read more: Prince Harry’s dilemma over whether to attend Coronation
A chef who delighted the late Queen with Piña Colada mousses and penny-shaped sandwiches before working for Princess Diana died suddenly earlier this month.
Graham Newbould, 66, worked at Buckingham Palace and on the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1980 to 1982, before moving on to working for King Charles and his first wife at Kensington Palace for another four and a half years until 1987.
The Michelin-decorated chef, who was born in August 1956 in Wakefield, Yorkshire, moved on to enjoy a successful career at different establishment. His second wife, Heather and their son, and two children from his first marriage, survive him.
Whilst he always refused to dish out on royal gossip during his service for the royal family, Newbould took viewers behind the scenes in a Channel 5 programme in 2002 titled Secrets of the Royal Kitchens, where he revealed some little-known facts about the late Queen and her family’s eating habits.
In the programme, Graham, whose last job was cooking for the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey, revealed how Princess Diana would have him cook jacket potatoes for Prince William and Prince Harry, and how the Queen would enjoy her own version of fish and chips at the Palace.
Graham Newbould, 66, worked at Buckingham Palace and on the Royal Yacht for two years from 1980 to 1982, before moving on to working for King Charles and his first wife at Kensington Palace for another four years and a half until 1987. He died suddenly on March 2
The chef never commented on the private lives of the royal family members during his years of service at Buckingham and Kensington Palace, once telling a reporter: ‘I’ve signed the Official Secrets Act, and anything to do with the Royal Family is taboo,’ the Daily Telegraph reported.
However, he once joked he was the one keeping Princess Diana ‘on the front pages’ when asked if he was responsible for the late royal’s slim figure.
After more than six years working for the royals, Graham quit and became chef at Inverlochy Castle hotel in Scotland, where he gained a Michelin star.
In 2002, he presented Secrets of the Royal Kitchen, where he dished out some anecdotes from his time working for The Firm.
He revealed in the programme that the royal family ‘like simple but elegant food, not too spicy, not too big or too small portions.”
During his years of service, the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would start the day with a traditional English breakfast at 8am, and would have lunch served at 1.15pm, high tea at 5pm and dinner at 8.15pm.
‘Everything had to be well-presented and elegant. But they weren’t too mad about decoration, so you might just serve flaked salmon on a plate with mayonnaise,’ Graham told the Channel 5 programme.
The chef added that garlic was banned from the royal table, and that the Queen would delight in enjoying her own version of fish and chips, called Haddock St Germain, made from small pieces of pan-fried haddock in breadcrumbs with chips and Béarnaise sauce.
Graham, circled, would cook for the late Queen and Prince Philip, pictured front and centre on the royal yacht Britannia
Graham also recounted in the programme that the Queen had the quirky habit of eating penny-shaped sandwiches for high tea, ‘because tradition has it that anyone presenting pointed-edged food is trying to overthrow the throne of England.’
As royal chef, Graham would also cook for the royal pets, which included chopped-up boiled lamb’s liver or rabbit with rice and cabbage for the Corgis, and tripe for the gun dogs.
The chef was also in charge of Christmas dinner, and would take the opportunity to try new things.
He revealed that the royal family were not fans of mince pies or Christmas pudding, which allowed him to try something different, such as a piña colada mousse with a raspberry coulis for dessert.
Graham was one of the cooks who worked on the wedding breakfast for King Charles, then Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana in 1981, and was asked to become one of their two personal chefs when the couple returned from honeymoon.
Unlike his parents, King Charles would not start the day with a cooked breakfast, but instead ate ‘a glass of freshly squeezed orange or apple juice and a small bowl of fresh fruit salad.
‘Then he would have muesli with six different types of dried fruit, apricots, peaches, figs, plums, apples and pears, served with milk from the Royal Dairy at Windsor. He would then have granary toast with six different types of honey. He would cut his toast up and try a little bit of honey on each,’ Graham revealed.
The late Princess Diana and King Charles, then Prince of Wales, in 1984, with Prince William at Kensington Palace, where Graham worked for them for four years and a half
Meanwhile, Princess Diana drank instant coffee and would have muesli or bran flakes for breakfast, followed by toast with marmalade and a fruit yoghurt.
Both Diana and Charles would have a light lunch, and skipped high tea, unless they were at Highgrove, in Gloucestershire, where the King would have a soft-boiled egg with Vegemite soldiers after going hunting or playing polo.
Graham also revealed Charles had a breakfast box with his honey, cereals, and dried fruits he would take with him when he was travelling.
The chef recalled that Princess Diana would ask him to make Prince William and Princess Harry jacket potatoes topped with lightly poached eggs, cheese sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan.
He noted that while Diana was a fan of the meal, King Charles’ taste differed.
The chef said working for the family had been excellent fun, recounting how he once had to tell off a young Prince William for pelting him with golf balls.
He also recalled one scene where he started impersonating King Charles doting over his Highgrove garden kitchen while preparing canapés for a reception at Kensington Palace, without realising that Princess Diana was standing right behind him.
‘I didn’t realise that the Princess was standing behind me laughing. She thought it was very funny,’ he said in the 2002 programme.
One of two sons, he attended catering college after soon, and trained with French chef Michel Bourdin at the Connaught Hotel in London, where he became chef poissonnier before going on to work for the Palace.
Graham left the royal role in 1987 to pursue a career as a chef in commercial establishment and earned a Michelin star while at the Inverlochy Castle, before moving to Barbados to be the chef at the Treasure Beach hotel.
He also enjoyed a stint as the head chef of the Calabash in Grenada before returning to England.
He then set up his own restaurant at The George in Wormald Green, in Yorkshire. His last post was working for the Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey.
Graham was an honorary member of the Académie Culinaire de France, and an officer of the Club des Chef des Chefs, an exclusive society of international chefs having worked for head of states.
In his personal life, Graham was married twice, having had a son and a daughter for his first marriage, and a son with his second wife, Heather.
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