Wednesday, July 1, would have marked Princess Diana’s 59th birthday. Sadly, the Princess of Wales died two months after turning 36 following a tragic car accident in 1997. While the world continues to remember and celebrate the legacy of the late Princess, the royal’s former chef Darren McGrady has given insight into how Princes William and Harry’s mother used to mark her birthdays. “Princess Diana didn’t really want to celebrate her birthdays, it meant another year older,” Darren, who cooked for Diana from 1993 to 1997, told HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!.
He added, “So no birthday cakes or special dishes. She would usually go out to lunch with her girlie friends and then a quiet night in for her birthday. Something like grilled fish or stuffed bell pepper.”
The former royal chef admitted that Princess Diana’s birthday at Kensington Palace was “one of the busiest days of the year” for him. Darren explained, “Not from a culinary aspect but all of her charities and friends sending flowers, thus the back doorbell ringing every few minutes and me having to run downstairs to answer.”
Prior to preparing daily menus for Diana and her sons and catering dinner parties, as well as private and official lunches, Darren cooked for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip for 11 years. On Wednesday, the royal family’s former chef paid tribute to Diana tweeting: “This incredible lady would have been 59 years young today. It was a pleasure to cook for her for 15 years. Happy birthday Princess Diana.”
While Diana didn’t want to celebrate her birthdays, according to Darren, she did get dressed up for her final one in 1997. On her 36th birthday, the mom of two attended a gala in honor of the Tate Gallery’s centenary in London. The People’s Princess stunned for the occasion wearing a black beaded chantilly lace dress by Jacques Azagury. The evening gown was a gift to the royal for her birthday from the designer. Diana accessorized the glamorous design with Queen Mary’s Art Deco Emerald Choker necklace and matching drop earrings. Outside the gallery, well-wishers showered the Princess with flowers, cards and a balloon in honor of her special day.