We all know that being a member of the royal family means enjoying the finer things in life (and some drama), including what they eat on a regular basis. But what about when the younger royals head out of the palace and off to school each day? We can’t really imagine them just packing a couple PB&Js, but they probably still leave their catering staff at home.
Princess Charlotte joined big brother Prince George at Thomas’s School in Battersea last year. According to their website, they offer “a rich and broad curriculum,” and the same can certainly be said for their lunch spread. Of course, it’s not just heirs to the throne who get to enjoy the grub on a daily basis, but we can’t help but wonder if the kitchen staff upped their game when they learned about the royal enrollees.
Sample menus show an impressive list of choices for the students, including vegan and gluten-free options. Some of the items do sound suitably fancy (or “posh” as they say across the pond), especially ones inspired by French cuisine, but others remind us of the same traditional dishes we enjoyed at school, too, like good old fish fingers and ketchup. The meals also change depending on what ingredients are in-season and are always freshly prepared.
Take a look to see what type of dishes George and Charlotte will get to choose from at school this semester!
Lunch Bread and Soup: Most days include a choice between white or brown baguette slices, but sometimes they include fun things like mini soft taco shells or warm garlic bread. Soup is also available with options like tomato and roasted pepper, chicken noodle, broccoli and stilton (a type of English blue cheese), French onion, minestrone, butternut squash, parsnip and apple, and roasted cherry tomatoes.
Lunch Proteins: Here’s where things start to look more like a restaurant menu than a children’s school lunch: Items like pork noodle stir fry and chicken katsu (Japanese-style fried chicken) show how the school embraces international cuisine. Others like deep fried fish fingers with Heinz tomato ketchup, however, remind us that this is still a menu for younger palettes. They also offer dishes that are in between the levels of fancy, like macaroni and cheese with organic cheese and cherry tomatoes on top, BBQ chicken, and mince chili con carne.
Lunch Vegetables: The traditional British mindset of “meat and two veg” is clearly followed at Thomas’s with plenty of fresh vegetable sides available. They include oven-baked carrots, green beans, steamed broccoli, steamed petit pois (a pea-based dish), and sweet corn. Even more traditional: Heinz baked beans, which people from the UK seem to love eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Lunch Carbohydrates: The school clearly tries to mix in as many whole grains and complex carbohydrates as they can when it comes to these starchy sides. That means things like 50/50 brown rice and basmati white rice, wholemeal spaghetti, baked herby diced potatoes, couscous, and fiber-rich whole what twisty pasta. They also list something called “deep fried spicy spirals.” We aren’t quite sure what they are, but they do sound delicious.
Fish Options: If a student is pescatarian (or just doesn’t want to wait for fried fish finger day to enjoy seafood), they might go for one of these daily choices instead. Options range from deep fried fish burger with tartare sauce, mackerel fillet with tomato salsa, wholemeal cheese and tuna pizza, and red Thai prawn curry. And although we aren’t sure we would have been brave enough to try salt and pepper squid rings when we were in elementary school, the kids here have that option, too.
Vegetarian/Vegan Options: For those who don’t eat meat at all, the school provides dishes like pea and mint falafel with mango chutney, mushroom stroganoff, fried halloumi on ratatouille, veggie sausages from Linda McCartney’s frozen food line, and a variety of vegetable-based tagines.
Gluten Free/Dairy Free Options: Students with these food allergies don’t need to worry about missing out on any of the mouth-watering options. They regularly get their pick of similar options that have just gone without the gluten or dairy, like fish fingers, meatballs, and even pasta bakes.
Pudding: This word doesn’t just refer to jiggly desserts in England, but all types of sweet treats usually enjoyed after a meal. For the students, that can be fresh fruit like “extra sweet” pineapple slices and watermelon with yogurt or baked goods like Dutch apple tart with vanilla ice cream. There’s even a chocolate cake that’s sweetened with beetroot to make it less of a sugar-bomb for the kiddos.
Now we just wish we could know which of these delightful options are the young royals’ favorites! Whatever they choose, they’re definitely in for a better lunch than those of us who had to deal with “mystery meat” or “tuna surprise” in our childhood cafeterias.