When you prepare meals for someone, you learn more than a few things about their personalities and habits! That certainly seems to be true of chef Darren McGrady, who spent 15 years as the personal chef to the royal family — and he’s got a few opinions on the current season of hit Netflix series The Crown.
McGrady recently said that he feels the first three seasons of the historical drama are more accurate than Season 4, adding that this particular one took a bit of “artistic license.”
In particular, McGrady, who specifically oversaw Prince Charles and Princess Diana‘s meals for four years, stated that the couple were not as contentious as the season portrayed, at least not in specific situations that he recalls.
“You see them in Australia sort of arguing and fighting, but, you know, they were happy there,” he said, referring to the pair’s 1983 tour to Australia and New Zealand.
McGrady also referred to the royal family’s annual Ghillies Ball, which he said was also not depicted correctly in terms of Charles and Diana’s interaction.
“I remember standing there watching Prince Charles and Princess Diana dancing together, and they were spinning and spinning, and the princess loved to dance. So she took advantage and she was spinning the prince faster, and then he was laughing louder and louder.
“And when I see The Crown and see that and think, ‘You don’t know the whole truth.’”
The chef, who is the author of two cookbooks and helms a new YouTube cooking channel he started earlier this year, does admit there are some accurate, if minor, notes in the series. For example, Queen Elizabeth II does love poached salmon, as the show presents.
“The queen loved poached salmon, absolutely she did,” he noted, but added that Diana was definitely not so much of a fan.
He recalled making an inadvertent slip-up by informing a charity that Diana was dining with about her fondness for poached salmon… the end result being a little too much of a good thing overall.
“About four weeks later, the princess came into the kitchen and she said, ‘Darren, I’m starving. What’s for lunch?’ And I said, ‘Lunch is almost ready,’” McGrady told Us Weekly. “She said, ‘Oh, please tell me it’s not poached salmon. What is it right now? Everywhere you go, everyone serving poached salmon!’ And I suddenly thought, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re telling everyone poached salmon.’”