Philip’s breakfast and dinner times with the Queen followed pattern

Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

Each morning, Philip would seat himself ready for breakfast at a table laid out by Palace servants in keeping with royal habits.

The duke would expect to see his old Roberts radio positioned exactly on his right, just between the yoghurt and the fruit bowl.

Cereal and porridge oats were kept in Tupperware boxes and two types of marmalade and a bottle of maple syrup would be in place.

Philip listened to BBC Radio 4 on his wireless, while the Queen fed her toast to the corgis.

The Queen and the duke
Philip apparently liked to start each day with a cup of coffee, while the Queen chose Earl Grey tea (David Cheskin/PA)

The secrets of the royals’ first meal of the day were exposed by a Daily Mirror reporter in 2003 after he breached Palace security to get a job as a footman.

Breakfast was served at 8.30am each day in the Queen’s private, first-floor dining room overlooking Buckingham Palace’s garden.

A thick white napkin embroidered with the EIIR emblem would be folded on the table next to the plastic cereal containers.

It was perhaps the existence of these modest tubs which generated most surprise among the public.

Each item on the table had its exact position, all brought by a tail-coated footman, who followed detailed plans on where to put things.

Conversation would turn to the day’s official engagements but was often kept to a minimum.

Philip apparently liked to start each day with a cup of coffee and a shower, in contrast to the Queen’s choice of Earl Grey tea and a bath.

After breakfast, the Queen would see to her correspondence and be briefed by her aides.

Depending on his diary, during his years of royal service before his retirement, the duke would carry out a variety of solo visits in the week or support the Queen at her public appearances.

High tea would be served back at the Palace at 5pm including sandwiches, scones and Dundee cake.

Dinner, when there were no guests and no public engagements, was a relaxed affair for the Queen and Philip.

They preferred to change into comfortable clothes rather than formal wear.

Philip ate almost anything, but avoided oysters on duty.

He liked the occasional lager – rather than wine – with his lunch and enjoyed cooking on the barbecue.

In 2011 – the year he turned 90 – Philip undertook a total of 330 royal engagements, while the Queen did 370.

In 2016, when he celebrated his 95th birthday, the duke still carried out 219 engagements, but none of them abroad.

In May 2017, it was announced he was retiring from public duties after the summer.

The duke kept busy behind the scenes with meetings, events and hobbies.

In his later years, he spent much of his time at Wood Farm on the outskirts of the Queen’s private Sandringham estate in Norfolk

He used his time to read, paint and host friends.