Carolyn Robb. Picture: Supplied
South African-born Carolyn Robb has enjoyed an illustrious career cooking for Britain’s royalty.

In fact, she spent 11 years cooking up a feast for the prince and princess of Wales and their sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

As part of ITV Choice’s Royal season programming, she joins Michael Buerk, as well as Michelin-starred chef Paul Ainsworth, to recreate some of the dishes served to monarchs, dating back to George IV’s reign, in Royal Recipes.

For example, George IV’s breakfast menu included pigeon, steak, wine, port, Champagne and brandy.

Reflecting on her 11 years of cooking for royalty, she said: “I was incredibly fortunate that, through the generosity of my parents, I was able to attend a brilliant cookery school in Surrey, just outside London.

"While there I was offered a job in the royal household, with the duke and duchess of Gloucester at Kensington Palace. It was the most amazing first job and they are a wonderful family.

"Two years later I began cooking for the prince and princess of Wales and the young princes William and Harry. My dream job.”

And she loved every moment of it. “I loved the foreign travel (official overseas state visits). We travelled to some very far flung corners of the world: Bhutan, Nepal, Guyana, Brazil, Trinidad, Macedonia, Jordan, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa.

"One of the most memorable trips was to Hong Kong for the handover - this was also the last trip that we did on the royal yacht HMY Britannia before it was decommissioned.

"There were some wonderful fund-raising events that I did at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, which I will always remember. Being with the family during the years that Prince William and Prince Harry were growing up was very special.”

So what did these royal family members enjoy?

“They loved Italian food - home-made pasta, risotto and gnocchi," said Robb. "They also all enjoyed the fresh produce that was grown in the gardens at Highgrove.”

A few years ago she published a cookbook titled, The Royal Touch.

“It’s a compilation of 100 of my favourite recipes, many of which have been served to the royal family. But there are also family favourites from when I was growing up. The food is simple and delicious,” she said.

And she enjoys making the occasional milk tart.

Back to the TV series: “I feature in three episodes. In the wedding episode I make a chocolate biscuit cake, which I made for the princes as young boys and which William then chose to have as the groom's cake at his wedding. In the birthdays episode, I cook a chicken dish and ice cream and for the royal consorts episode I prepare an aubergine dish that I used to make for Princess Diana.”

When asked what’s keeping her busy these days, she said: “I have created a brand, which I am working hard to expand. I have created lines of tableware and cookware and have licensing agreements with some overseas companies. I work with several travel companies and still do some small bespoke events for private and corporate clients. I am also starting work on my second cookbook.”

After cooking for royalty, are there any other people she would love to cook for?

She laughed. “I don’t think anyone could top the members of the royal family that I have cooked for. I love cooking for my two young daughters and can’t think of anyone more special than them.”

She goes home to visit family whenever she gets the chance.

“One of my brothers still lives in Pietermaritzburg," Robb said. "I last visited him six years ago and I look forward to visiting him again when my daughters are both old enough to enjoy and remember making the journey to South Africa.”

*Royal Recipes airs on ITV Choice (DStv Channel 123) on weekdays at 7.10pm.

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