Inside life of Queen’s staff from takeaways to having ‘no time’ for their family

From attending lavish state banquets to travelling the world on different tours, working for the royals is a job like no other.

But alongside the glitz and glamour of the role, working forthe Queen comes with its downsides too, such as being away from home for long stretches of time.

Speaking exclusively to OK!, former royal chef Darren McGrady explained how busy days at Balmoral Castle meant that he and his colleagues stuck together to form their own alternative “family”.

He said: “The camaraderie was pretty good. When you think that there were three 300 staff at the palace when I was there. One hundred of them probably used to travel.

“It was really like a family. You know, we were all leaving our own families back in London, and heading off to Balmoral for four to eight weeks sometimes. You were actually living in this extended family.”

Having previously worked as a personal chef to the Queen, Princess Diana and William and Harry for 15 years, Darren knows a thing or two about theprotocols the staff members have to follow.

Given that travelling demands meant that he would spend chunks of time away from his own family, Darren explained how staff were allowed to bring guests to residences, though he rarely had the time to do so.

“You could bring guests to the castle in restricted areas but you’d have to get a security clearance 24 hours before,” he said.

“Families could come up to Balmoral, but honestly, you never really had time to see them. So that's why you didn't bring them.

“You’d start a normal day at Balmoral at 7am, work until 2pm and then come back at 5pm and work until 8.30pm.

“It was a busy time, so you didn't really get time to see the family. It was difficult but you’d just have to write letters and make phone calls.”

After previously revealing thatHer Majesty’s favourite type of fast food is as luxurious as you’d expect , Darren added that staff members are allowed to indulge in their love for fast food too.

“When it came to ordering food in, you could get a takeaway but at Balmoral the nearest village is 20 minutes aways and the only fast food place was a fish and chip shop,” he said.

“Staff were fed four meals a day – breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner – so I don’t think they ever wanted to get food in.”

Darren McGrady is the founder of The Royal Chef.

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