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Le Menu


Asperges Pochées

Sauce Hollandaise

Poached asparagus spears in a Hollandaise sauce made from eggs, butter and lemon

Suprème de Volaille Rôti

Roasted portions of chicken, that includes the wing and breast, brushed with lemon and garnished with truffles.


Sauce au Vin de Xérès et á l'Estragon

Sherry and tarragon sauce


Haricots d'Espagne

Runner beans (Butter beans)


Carottes Nouvelles

New carrots


Pommes Rösti

Swiss-style fried potato patties





Compote de Framboises

Fresh raspberries tossed in an orange flavored syrup


Crème Caillée

Clotted Cream

Of course, being the 100th birthday of the Queen Mother, bottles of vintage Veuve Clicquot Champagne were at the ready for members of the Royal Family to toast Britain’s favourite centenarian.

The journey to her birthday lunch started just before midday when the Irish Guards struck up a spritely rendition of Happy Birthday as the Queen Mother appeared at the doorway of her home, Clarence House, dressed in powder-blue and clutching two walking sticks. In the waiting open carriage, she took a seat beside her grandson, Prince Charles, and made her way past cheering crowds to Buckingham Palace.

Hours earlier, like eleven other British centenarians on this day, this most famous of mothers had just received a special celebratory telegram from her eldest daughter, the Queen.  In a tradition dating back to 1917, the sovereign sends a celebratory telegram to all British (and some Commonwealth) subjects turning 100.  Unlike the others however, this telegram was handwritten and was not signed with the formal ‘Elizabeth R’, but instead was signed by ‘Lilibet’: the childhood family name of Queen Elizabeth II.

When she arrived, as the official Court Circular reported in its bland matter-of-fact style:

“Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, accompanied by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh and other Members of the Royal Family, appeared on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace today to acknowledge the good wishes of the crowd gathered to celebrate the One Hundredth Birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her Majesty and the other Members of the Royal Family remained for Lunch afterwards”.

This lunch was just a private affair, held in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace, for 30 members of the most senior members of the Royal Family that included all the Queen Mother’s children and grand-children and her great grand-children, including the eighteen year-old Prince William and fifteen year-old Prince Harry.

The gold-embossed monogram of Queen Elizabeth II appears at the top of the menu, as opposed to the personal  monogram of the Queen Mother, as the Queen was the host of the lunch.


An Equerry to the Queen Mother, Major Colin Burgess, once recalled of the Queen Mother's lunching routine that "at noon, she had her first drink of the day — a potent mix of two parts of the fortified wine Dubonnet to one part of gin. This was followed by red wine with lunch and, very occasionally, a glass of port to end it".

True to form, this lunch ended with a 40 year-old Port, Royal Vintage 1960.

y royal standards it was a deliciously simple lunch: asparagus with Hollandaise, raspberries and clotted cream; and roast chicken with a Sherry and tarragon sauce served with röstis.


To a 41-gun salute, the Queen Mother is joined by members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to celebrate her 100th Birthday.

4th August 2000

Photo: William Conran, Alamy.


Coronation Banquet


The 1937 Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (who would become the Queen Mother after the death of her husband), saw guests treated to an eight course banquet with a dish dedicated to the Queen:  Chaudfroid de Volaille Reine Elizabeth.    Read More.

Photo: World History Archive,  Alamy.

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Œufs Drumkilbo

It is written that the Queen Mother had a fondness for gin, Dubonnet and Champagne. Also, that she had a sweet tooth and was wont to finish a meal with often classically British desserts such as Eton Mess, Steamed Marmalade Pudding, or Treacle Tart.


However, it was an appetiser created in the 1950s that became most synonymous with her royal palate. Alternately named Œufs Drumkilbo or Homard Drumkilbo this mishmash of lobster, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, tomatoe, aspic, white wine, anchovy essence, and Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce, is said to have been the accidental concoction of the chef to Lord Elphinstone who owned Drumkilbo House in Perthshire, Scotland. Food critic and stepson of King Chalres III, Tom Parker Bowles, has written that the dish is a favourite of the King and is still served at his Birkhall residence in Aberdeenshire.


This menu-card from Clarence House in 1997 shows the Queen Mother enjoyed the brew of egg and lobster as part of a lunch of cold meats and bite-sized chicken pies. In the evening she attended a dinner and ball at Windsor Castle for the Golden Wedding anniversary of her daughter Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

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