Princess Diana’s shocking cooking disaster revealed by royal chef

Diana, Princess Of Wales, Leaving The British Lung Foundation In Hatton Garden After Being Presented With A Bouquet Of The First Rose Named After Her
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana’s former royal chef Darren McGrady has shared a shocking anecdote about her cooking skills and it seems things didn’t always go smoothly in the palace kitchens.

Princess Diana’s former royal chef Darren McGrady has shared a shocking memory from his time working at Kensington Palace. Darren, who cooked for the late Princess of Wales for four years, has previously given fans unique insights into the royals' surprising eating habits. This included the revelation earlier this year that there was often a hidden difference between Princess Diana’s food and her guests' (opens in new tab).

Whilst the chef has also explained exactly how to make Princess Diana’s surprising request (opens in new tab) for Prince William and Prince Harry - a special banana flan. Now Darren has opened up in a touching tribute to Diana on what would’ve been her 60th birthday (opens in new tab).

Posting a special YouTube video, the former royal chef shared happy memories of the late Princess. Though it was his astonishing anecdote about one of her disastrous cooking attempts that will perhaps surprise fans the most.

"I cooked for the Princess Monday through Friday and weekends, I'd actually leave food in the refrigerator for her, plastic-wrapped, and if she wasn't going out, hadn't been invited out, then she would just help herself to that,” Darren explained.

"I used to put a little sticky note on it with a number. Stuffed bell pepper had a number two – it meant 'put it in the microwave and press two'. She wasn't a good cook!" 

Despite this, Darren recalled a time Diana ventured into the kitchens one weekend - with dramatic results!

"One time it was one Sunday... she had a friend come over and they decided to cook pasta and some spaghetti sauce. And they got chatting, the pasta boiled over and it put the pilot lights out on the gas,” the chef revealed. "She came into the kitchen a bit later on and she could smell gas. She called the palace fire brigade!"

Diana, Princess Of Wales, At Northwick Park & St. Mark's Hospital In Harrow, Middlesex

It was Diana herself who reportedly told Darren of the remarkable events, as he reflected on the moment she broke the news.

"Monday, I came into work and she came running into the kitchen. She said, 'Darren you won't believe it, I cooked at the weekend but I nearly set the whole palace on fire'," he said. 

"But what it was, was the pilot lights had gone out. She said, 'I was so nervous, I called the palace fire brigade and they all came over but the best part was, I had 12 hunky firemen all to myself!'”

This unforgettable memory brilliantly showcases Princess Diana's sense of humour and is something Darren McGrady likely holds close as he thinks back on his many wonderful years as a royal chef.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home,, and My Imperfect Life.