Princess Anne's 'unusual' plane meal revealed by royal pilot – and it's a far from first class

Princess Anne waving in a hat as she boards a plane from Gambia
Princess Anne boarding a plane from Gambia where worked as a patron for Save The Children (Getty)

When royals board flights to far-flung destinations, it's easy to picture them being bathed in luxury, whether they're stretching out on large seats or tucking into first-class meals. Not in Princess Anne's case!

King Charles' former pilot, Graham Laurie, opened up about the Princess Royal's choice of plane food in HELLO!'s latest episode of A Right Royal Podcast, describing her meal as "unusual."

"The lovely thing was that we got all our food from British Airways at Heathrow," began Graham as he discussed what happens behind the scenes. "In the Andover, the best description was like cooking in a caravan. There was a small hot plate, it looked a bit like a kettle, but it was a hot jug that you could heat water up in, you could make coffee in and so forth.

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"But when we got the 146 we had a full airline galley. So we could take food from frozen, and at top of climate it was ready to serve just as you would in a normal airliner. The passenger was nearly always the Princess Royal. Because one of her patronships is Save the Children firm," he continued.

Anne is already said to have a unique diet consisting of overripe bananas for breakfast, kippers for lunch and devilled pheasant for dinner, but Graham revealed relatable Anne's love of classic British dishes extends to her trips away from home, too. The royal reportedly favours comfort food such as meat pies, specifically tinned pies, which are a far cry from "poncey first-class food."

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princess anne food
The royal eats tinned pies on plane journeys (Getty)

"We had to provide food for her, so we never left Benson without what I call the bottom line in catering. Those wonderful flat-tinned meat pies by Fray Bentos. And we'd do that we take tinned vegetables, tinned potatoes, the stewards would tart up a gravy. Add a few spices to it. And we'd serve steak and kidney pie or chicken and leek pie. And do you know they used to love it?

Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence sitting at a dinner table
Princess Anne doesn't always like eating "first class" meals (Getty)

"I think it was such a pleasant change from all the poncey first class food. She enjoyed it. I mean, she may have had it at home as well, I don't know. But certainly, it was unusual to serve it in the aircraft," the pilot added.

Princess Anne doesn't just like to eat them in the comfort of her own home (or plane!) but the no-fuss 72-year-old royal also serves "pork pies" or "anything by Fray Bentos" to dinner guests.

Princess Anne holding a drink while wearing a hat and sunglasses
Princess Anne serves meat pies and choc ices to her dinner guests (Getty)

According to the MailOnline, the Princess has never been one for decadence or indulgence and prefers to serve "whichever she could defrost the quickest," with side dishes of boiled potatoes and either peas or green beans.

Explaining her food choices, she previously quipped: "After all, one wants everyone out of the house by 9.15 pm at the latest. For pudding, I pass them a choc ice to eat in the car."

So a royal meal could cost as little as £3.25 for a pie and 15p for a choc ice – bargain!

She's among many royals who have down-to-earth eating habits, from Princess Diana's tradition of taking her sons Prince William and Prince Harry to McDonald's on Saturday afternoons, to Princess Kate's love of ordering a takeaway spicy curry for her family.

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