As we've all long suspected but not been able to confirm, a version of Downton Abbey does exist, it's located in the Royal kitchens, and O'Brien is probably down there plotting against you, personally, because you are a peasant with no class and you have sex out of wedlock.
According to Darren McGrady, who worked with the Royal family for 15 years (for the Queen until 1993 and then for Princess Diana, up until her death in 1997), "Working in the kitchens at the Palace is exactly like" the television program. He started his career peeling carrots for the royal horses, truly affirming that it's possible to pull oneself up by the bootstraps and make it to the top from the lowest possible rung. The bootstraps in this case are literal, because he worked in a stable feeding peeled carrots to large hoofed animals.
What does a typical culinary day look like for Her Majesty?
For breakfast, McGrady recalls, Her Majesty enjoys Cornflakes or Special K, with fruit from her greenhouses or macadamia nuts she keeps in a Tupperware box. For lunch, served at 1pm, she likes white fish or grilled chicken with vegetables (“no potatoes if she is eating alone”). Dinner, at 8pm, normally consists of venison or salmon and salad.
If you're thinking, "I like Special K, and I one ate macadamia nuts out of a Tupperware box!" then think again. You are nothing like the Queen. You probably eat potatoes alone every single day.
Other fun facts about the Royal family: Diana "liked to cook her own pasta" (which might just mean that she liked to insert noodles into boiling water), Prince William and Harry will be eternally remembered as "two boys who loved burgers and pizza," and Prince Andrew has a weird thing with mangoes:
If Prince Andrew is coming for tea, mangoes should be on the menu. “Every Christmas, he’d get sent a gift of mangoes, and he’d come into the kitchen bellowing: 'Where are my mangoes?’ He used to count them every day – he loved them.”
The Palace is currently advertising for a new sous-chef, so the mango-dispensing responsibilities can now be yours! The only requirements are being the best sous-chef in the world. It would also help to have neither piercings nor pink hair, according to McGrady, because no one wants to see that in a royal photograph. This is not a Quizno's.
Could you take the heat in Her Majesty's kitchens? [The Telegraph]
Image via Getty.