Life at Kensington Palace was full of ups and downs in the late eighties and early nineties. The royal residence’s key occupants, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were struggling with a marriage breakdown in the public eye while raising two young children.
But, within palace walls, everything was kept as normal as possible. According to Carolyn Robb, the couple’s former chef, the pair were “very professional about everything and kept everything normal for the sake of William and Harry.”
Robb, who worked for Diana and Charles in Kensington Palace for eleven years, has nothing but praise for her former employers. In an exclusive interview with royal reporter Omid Scobie for Yahoo UK, Robb talks about what life in the palace was really like for the Wales’.
Life was “normal” when the family was at home, recalls Robb: “We had the equipment we needed but it was by no means the latest induction hob.”
The kitchen was “the gathering place,” Robb explains. “Everybody popped in and out. There were always other people in the kitchen, usually protection officer drinking cups of tea. And certainly there were occasions, particularly if Princess Diana was at home on her own in the evenings, she’d say: ‘just leave a plate of food in the fridge for me’. I think it was nice for her to be able to just pop into the kitchen and help herself and have things a little more informal at times.”
Harry and William would “fly in and out” of the kitchen, hiding from their nannies in the cupboards. “Usually Harry’s giggling gave him away,” says Robb.
Robb didn’t just cook for the family: she was responsible for feeding visiting diners, including A-listers such as Elton John, Emma Thompson and Barbara Streisand. She even once cooked for the Dalai Lama during a visit to Kensington Palace.