'Princess Diana would spend Christmas alone,' says former royal chef

Princess Diana would spend Christmas Day alone, says the Royal Family's former royal chef [Photo: Getty]

Following the breakdown of her marriage, Princess Diana would spend Christmas Day alone.

That's according to former royal chef Darren McGrady who says the late royal would send sons William and Harry to Sandringham for the Christmas period and let her staff spend the holiday with their own loved ones.

Speaking in an interview with royal reporter Omid Scobie for Yahoo UK series The Royal Story, McGrady says: "It was always quite sad when you were working with the princess the day before Christmas.

"William and Harry would go off to Sandringham and Princess Diana was there on her own. And she insisted the staff spending their time with their families over Christmas, so we would leave food in the refrigerator.

"So there was the princess, on her own, on Christmas Day."

Princess Diana
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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)

While it's not known how Diana felt about spending Christmas Day alone, she did "like to have things a little more information" another former chef told Yahoo UK recently.

Carolyn Robb, who worked for Diana and Charles for a number of years during and after their marriage, says the Princess of Wales would ask her to leave food for her in the fridge rather than serve her a freshly cooked meal on occasion - usually when she was home alone.

The palace kitchen was always a "gathering place," says Robb.

When married to Charles, Diana famously wasn't fond of Sandringham, the royal residence in Norfolk where the Queen and her relatives gather each December.

"Sandringham was so tight, so compact. There were so many people there, all the families," McGrady explains.

Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Princess Diana arrive for a photocall at Sandringham [Photo: Getty]

"You just couldn't get away. You came out of the dining room and you couldn't go into the sitting room because there were three or four people in there playing charades or Scrabble or something.

"She would go off for a walk on her own and often I would bump into her when she was out walking. So, I think that's probably what she wasn't keen on.

Diana and Charles' marriage breakdown

Diana, who died in August 1997, separated from Prince Charles in 1992, soon after their marriage breakdown became public knowledge.

The Royal Family gather at Sandringham for Princess Eugenie's christening in December 1990 [Photo: Getty]

Two years after their separation, Charles confessed to adultery in a nationally televised interview where he named Camilla - now the Duchess of Cornwall - as his mistress.

In 1995, Camilla and her then-husband Andrew Parker Bowles officially announced their divorce, after living apart for a couple of years.

Diana also admitted to adultery, having had an affair with polo player and former riding instructor James Hewitt.

Charles and Diana's marriage officially ended in divorce four years later, in 1996.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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