King Charles’ slightly unusual eating habits have cropped up a few times in The Crown – but what does he actually eat in a day?
Of course, when he hosts formal events – such as his first official state banquet as monarch with South Africa’s president on Tuesday – there will be multiple courses, served alongside a great deal of pomp and ceremony.
But even the sovereign doesn’t dine like that every day.
What does The Crown suggest?
Well, in one scene (Season 4, episode 3, for diehard fans) Charles is noticeably absent from a rather tense luncheon between Camilla Parker Bowles and the-then Lady Diana Spencer.
Supposedly, this is because he skips the meal altogether – and this actually does ring true, based on previous claims.
Clarence House revealed in 2018, in a list of 70 facts to honour his 70th birthday, that Charles “does not eat lunch”, even though his late mother the Queen was known to have four small meals a day.
Former royal correspondent at the Telegraph, Gordon Rayner has previously claimed that is because the monarch thinks lunch is a “luxury”, and that there is not enough time in his schedule.
Even before he took to the throne, Charles was said to have a packed timetable. Back when he was the Prince of Wales, he was (informally) crowned the most hardworking royal in 2019, having attended 521 public events across the year.
According to the Mirror, it seems he starts the day with a breakfast of seasonal fruits, seeds and tea, taking a walk for lunch – and doesn’t really stop until 5pm, when he has tea (accompanied with sandwiches and a piece of fruit cake).
What about The Crown season 5?
Forget the latest drama – how accurate is the TV depiction of the King’s actual diet?
In the latest season, Charles is depicted chomping down on a bit of asparagus from his garden.
While it’s not clear if he does actually have a particular fondness for asparagus, he does follow a mostly plant-based diet.
As the King told the BBC in 2021: “For years I haven’t eaten meat and fish on two days a week, and I don’t eat dairy products on one day a week.”
An advertising billboard promoting series 5 of Netflix's 'The Crown'
What about... eggs?
The King is said to have a particular fondness for eggs, particularly when they’re soft-boiled.
According to the Independent, he likes boiled eggs with every meal, usually served on a side salad which he mashes into the salad to create a kind of mayonnaise.
However, this has been disputed. His former press secretary Julian Payne told The Mirror, he “never saw a single boiled egg at breakfast in all the years I worked there”.
Still, a 2020 Instagram post from Clarence House revealed one of the King’s “favourite recipes”, Cheesy Baked Eggs, to mark the final day of the British Cheese Weekender.
It includes spinach, cherry tomatoes, strong soft cheese, double cream, hard cheese and fresh basil.
What else does Charles like?
The King’s favourite tea is Darjeeling with honey and milk, according to Clarence House’s lists of 70 facts.
And, as royal editor Russell Myers told ITV’s Lorraine, the monarch’s favourite meal is “wild mushroom risotto with organic lamb” – although the mushrooms must come from his own estate, apparently.
And, where possible, Charles wants all the ingredients to be organic, in line with keen environmentalism.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady told Delish back in 2020: “I cooked lamb a lot at Buckingham Palace. Prince Charles...he was a foodie, into organic farming before it was even invented.
Is there anything he won’t eat?
Queen Consort Camilla did tell MasterChef Australia in 2018 that you won’t find garlic at royal events, although she didn’t expand on the reason why (though it’s widely suspected it’s something to do with the smelly breath that comes with it – the Queen wasn’t partial, either).
Charles is also not a fan of coffee or chocolate, according to a report from Hello! magazine, but reportedly likes cheese and warm biscuits after a meal – only when warmed up though.