Coronation chicken for the 21st century: What could King Charles’s celebratory food be?

To mark the late Queen’s coronation in 1953, a brand new dish was invented and served up for the celebratory luncheon.

Created by Cordon Bleu-trained chef Rosemary Hume and food writer Constance Spry, Coronation chicken, a curry and mayonnaise cold chicken dish, has stood the test of time – mainly as a sandwich filling.

Now, with plans well underway for King Charles’s crowning in May, there has been speculation as to what, if any, dish will be conjured up to mark the occasion.

Details of the Coronation have been unveiled in recent days, including ‘Big Lunch’ street parties and picnics taking place on May 7 to raise money for charity.

Coronation chicken – or Poulet Reine Elizabeth – was the brand new dish invented and served up for the Queen’s coronation luncheon in 1953

Competitions have also been launched to get members of the public to come up with a recipe, although none are officially sponsored by the royals.

last year, the Palace encouraged chefs to come up with a recipe to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year.

Amateur baker Jemma Elvin, 31, won the contest with her lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle, and the dessert took its place alongside Poulet Reine Elizabeth and Victoria Sponge – named after Queen Victoria – in royal food history.

And the new King has certainly inherited a ‘foodie’ status from his mother and ancestors.

With plans well underway for King Charles III's crowning in May, there has been speculation as to what, if any, dish will be conjured up to mark the occasion

With plans well underway for King Charles III’s crowning in May, there has been speculation as to what, if any, dish will be conjured up to mark the occasion

A staunch advocate for organic farming and foods, King Charles founded Duchy Organics in 1990, which later went on to partner with Waitrose to sell high-quality British produce.

But with a range of different foods promoted by the King, and a variety of recipes in his and the royal family’s repertoire, it is difficult to know what could be the central dish of the bank holiday celebrations.

Here, FEMAIL looks at Charles III’s favorite foods to see if they give away any clues…

Amateur baker Jemma Elvin, 31, won the contest to come up a dessert to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee last year, producing this lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle

Victoria Sponge - named after Queen Victoria - is another creation which has taken it's place in royal food history

Amateur baker Jemma Elvin, 31, won the contest to come up a dessert to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, producing this lemon swiss roll and amaretti trifle (left) Victoria Sponge – named after Queen Victoria – is another creation which has taken it’s place in royal food history (right)


King Charles has long been rumored to be a huge fan of the humble boiled egg.

Last year, journalist and royal expert Russell Myers revealed to Lorraine that the royal’s favorite food was a ‘simple’ boiled egg.

There was even a reference to it in The Crown, when Camilla Parker Bowles (played by Emerald Fannell) told a young Princess Diana: ‘They made the cardinal mistake of refusing to put a soft boiled egg on top.’

But there has been debate over when in the day he eats the breakfast staple.

Broadcaster Jeremy Paxman claimed in his 2012 book On Royalty that the then-Prince of Wales demands seven eggs to be boiled for him a day – only eating one to make sure it was cooked to perfection.

He wrote: ‘Because [Charles’] staff were never quite sure whether the egg would be precisely to the satisfactory hardness, a series of eggs was cooked, and laid out in an ascending row of numbers.’

This was later denied on the Prince’s website, with an FAQ section reading: ‘Does The Prince of Wales have seven boiled eggs cooked for his breakfast but only eat one, as claimed in Jeremy Paxman’s book On Royalty?

The answer read: ‘No, he doesn’t and never has done, at breakfast or any other time.

Meanwhile Graham Tinsley MBE, former manager of the Welsh Culinary Team, who catered for royal state banquets on several occasions, revealed to Hello! in September how Charles ‘really’ likes his eggs.

He said that the King is actually a fan of a coddled egg – which is only boiled for about two to three minutes before being peeled and served.


Charles’s ‘ideal meal’, according to insiders, is wild mushroom risotto with organic lamb.

Speaking to Delish back in 2020, former royal chef Darren McGrady said: ‘I cooked lamb a lot at Buckingham Palace.

‘Prince Charles… he was a foodie, into organic farming before it was even invented.

‘He loves wild mushrooms and would take his chefs to Balmoral to show them where the best mushrooms are.

‘We brought them back to Buckingham Palace and they were the most amazing porcini mushrooms.’

With lambing season in the UK between March and May, this personal favorite of Charles’s would certainly make sense for his Spring coronation.

The King also requires a side salad for every meal, Mr Tinsley said, which has to be ‘very precise’ and served over the parboiled egg – before he mashes it all together.

This unusual dish is unlikely to be a popular choice for the coronation celebration – though Charles’s love of eggs could certainly be incorporated in another way…

As a big fan of eggs, the King has even shared his own recipe to showcase the ingredient, as well as other homegrown produce.

During the Coronavirus pandemic in May 2020, the then-Prince shared a step-by-step guide to creating Cheesy Baked Eggs.

A video shows a member of Clarence House staff preparing the decadent brunch recipe, which was shared to Instagram to mark the British Cheese Weekender.

Charles has been Patron of the Specialty Cheesemakers Association since 1993 – so it is also very possible that his celebratory food of choice could be cheesy.


Former royal chef Darren has previously that when he cooked for him, the King would start his day with just fruit.

And despite being a ‘foodie’, he also added that Charles would often skip lunch, instead opting for a boiled egg for afternoon tea.

The healthy 74-year-old is also reportedly a fan of linseed, a nutritional superfood – which he jokingly calls ‘bird seed’ according to the Daily Star.

He has also been said to eat a late breakfast, consisting of Darjeeling tea with milk and honey, and homemade bread with linseed, fresh fruit and juice.

As well as offering a balanced meal that’s high in fibre, these dietary choices are believed to reflect the royal’s environmental concerns as they are relatively low impact foods in terms of carbon and damage to habitats.

This means that there could be a sustainable option for the picnic table during the Coronation celebrations.


The Palace has been keen to underline that the celebrations will be rooted in tradition – so what better dish to serve than one steeped in royal history.

One such dish has all-but vanished from the UK with its key ingredient largely extinct here, despite it previously being a requirement at all royal celebrations since medieval times.

Lamprey pies, extravagant multiple-tiered pastries filled with blood-sucking eel like creatures, have been made for royalty by the city of Gloucester since the 12th century.

The tradition of serving it up at royal celebrations was scrapped in 1917 amid the First World War, but came back for the Queen’s 1953 coronation.

But, with the jawless fish on the brink of extinction in the nearby River Severn, the last British lampreys were provided in the pie made for Queen Elizabeth II’s 25th Jubilee in 1977.

Since then, American and Canadian lampreys have been brought in, and the Platinum Jubilee pie sent to the late Queen was scaled back to contain pork and apple.

Now, the tradition is set to continue, with Gloucester City Council documents showing that it intends to present the new monarch with a lamprey pie on the day of his coronation.

Owing to environmental concerns, the pie is again expected not to have any lampreys in it, but GloucestershireLive reports it will have the eels represented in the elaborate pastry case design.

While eel pie is unlikely to be high up many people’s banquet wish lists, there’s no denying that the intricate pies certainly look fit for a king.


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