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King Charles breakfast habit debunked by former royal butler: ‘It doesn’t make sense’

Grant Harrold worked for the royal family from 2004 to 2011

Kate Ng
Sunday 23 April 2023 13:22 BST
When is the King's coronation and what should we expect?

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Louise Thomas

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A royal butler who used to work for King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla has debunked a rumour about the monarch’s breakfast habits.

Grant Harrold, who worked for the then-Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall from 2004 to 2011, was asked about a claim made in Jeremy Paxman’s 2006 book On Royalty.

It is known that the King enjoys having an egg with his meals, with some royal chefs claiming he likes them boiled a certain way.

Paxman wrote in his book: “Because [Charles’s] 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.

“If the Prince felt that number five was too runny, he could knock the top off number six or seven.”

The claim was denied by Clarence House at the time, with a spokesperson saying: “Whether he has eggs for breakfast or not is not relevant. It is claimed that a friend has said this, but the story isn’t true.”

During an etiquette event with Harrold, he reiterated that Paxman’s claim was untrue because of Charles’s passion for environmentalism and dislike of any waste.

“The reason I don’t believe it is because [Charles] hates waste, absolutely hates any waste,” he told The Independent.

“So it wouldn’t make sense if he suddenly started having [seven boiled eggs], it just doesn’t make sense.”


Harrold continued: “I just don’t understand, there are some things I hear about and read about, I don’t know where it comes from.

“I know he likes his eggs and things, but I have never, ever witnessed this boiled egg request.”

He also dismissed a claim made by Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, regarding how the King prefers staff to prepare him for the day ahead.

In a 2015 documentary titled Serving The Royals: Inside The Firm, Burrell claimed that Charles would have “his valets squeeze just one inch of toothpaste onto his toothbrush every morning”.

But Harrold said he had never witnessed such a request from the monarch, who was the Prince of Wales at the time.

“I read that, I never witnessed that. I thought it was a brilliant idea, I wish I had someone doing that for me,” he joked.

The King and Queen Consort are preparing for their coronation on 6 May. They will be crowned at Westminster Abbey and are set to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the ceremony, joined by other senior working royals.

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