Behind palace walls: Diana and Charles’ former chef talks press intrusion, hiding William and Harry and celebrity guests

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Life at Kensington Palace was full of ups and downs in the late eighties and early nineties. The royal residence's key occupants, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were struggling with a marriage breakdown in the public eye while raising two young children.

But, within palace walls, everything was kept as normal as possible. According to Carolyn Robb, the couple's former chef, the pair were "very professional about everything and kept everything normal for the sake of William and Harry."

Robb, who worked for Diana and Charles in Kensington Palace for eleven years, has nothing but praise for her former employers. In an exclusive interview with royal reporter Omid Scobie for Yahoo UK, Robb talks about what life in the palace was really like for the Wales'.

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Princess Diana
File photo dated 29/6/1994 of the Princess of Wales arriving at the Serpentine Gallery in London's Hyde Park to attend a gala dinner as its patron. Twenty-five years ago, the Princess of Wales stepped out in her "revenge dress".
Diana and the Queen snapped in good spirits.
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana Resting Her Head In Her Hands Whilst Sitting On The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Princess of Wales rides in the passenger seat of a vintage Mercedes-Benz.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles at William's first day at Eton.
circa 1965: A young Lady Diana Spencer (1961 - 1997), later the wife of Prince Charles.
Prince Charles and his fiancee Lady Diana Spencer with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, 7th March 1981.
Prince Charles  and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer on their wedding day.
Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales kissing his wife, Princess Diana (1961 - 1997), on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their marriage.
Princess Diana on her wedding day.
(FILE PHOTO) The Prince and Princess of Wales leave St Paul's Cathedral after their wedding, 29th July 1981. She wears a wedding dress by David and Elizabeth Emmanuel and the Spencer family tiara.
A pregnant Princess of Wales joins the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the Trooping of the Colour ceremony, June 1982. The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Alexandra of Kent and Angus Ogilvy are among the group. 
(FILE PHOTO) The Princess of Wales attends a dinner held by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in Islamabad during her official visit to Pakistan, September 1991.
Princess Diana pictured in a tiara.

Diana looks deep in thought on her wedding day.

Princess Diana smiles for the cameras.
Princess Diana in a stylish evening gown.
Princess Diana and Prince Philip at a polo match in Windsor on July 26th , 1987.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana leave St. Mary’s Hospital in London, with Prince Harry on September 16, 1984.
Princess Diana with her sons William and Harry in 1995.
Princess Diana pictured in a stylish beret.
Princess Diana is snapped in India.
Princess Diana doing charity work.
Princess Diana holding Harry as a baby.
Princess Diana meeting members of the public.
Princess Diana poses in a bikini during a holiday.
Diana beams as she sits with William and Harry.
Princess Diana pictured with young William.
Princess Diana is seen holding hands with her two young sons William and Harry.
Princess Diana with William and Harry.
Diana with her sons in December 1995.
Diana pictured with Charles.

An adorable Prince William and Prince Harry can be seen standing beside their mother, Princess Diana, as a little girl gives flowers to the Queen Mother in 1991.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, kissing Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, at a polo match.
Diana gets involved in a parents' day race.

Diana dazzles in a green frock.

Diana and Charles pictured at a glamorous evening event.
Diana and Charles pose for a formal picture.
Charles and Diana boarding a flight.
Charles and Diana as newlyweds.
Diana sporting a casual look.

Diana wears a tartan outfit to match Charles' kilt for a trip to Scotland.

A young Diana shows off sapphire sparkler.
Diana dazzles in white frock and tiara during trip to the Middle East.
Diana pictured with baby Harry.
Diana poses for pictures with members of the public during a walkabout.
Diana and Charles enjoy a family day out.
Diana pictured alongside a stern-faced Queen.
Diana pictured alongside Princess Anne.
TETBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Princess Diana Resting Her Head In Her Hands Whilst Sitting On The Steps Of Her Home At Highgrove, Gloucestershire. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Life was "normal" when the family was at home, recalls Robb: "We had the equipment we needed but it was by no means the latest induction hob."

The kitchen was "the gathering place," Robb explains. "Everybody popped in and out. There were always other people in the kitchen, usually protection officer drinking cups of tea. And certainly there were occasions, particularly if Princess Diana was at home on her own in the evenings, she'd say: 'just leave a plate of food in the fridge for me'. I think it was nice for her to be able to just pop into the kitchen and help herself and have things a little more informal at times."

Harry and William would "fly in and out" of the kitchen, hiding from their nannies in the cupboards. "Usually Harry's giggling gave him away," says Robb.

Robb didn't just cook for the family: she was responsible for feeding visiting diners, including A-listers such as Elton John, Emma Thompson and Barbara Streisand. She even once cooked for the Dalai Lama during a visit to Kensington Palace.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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