James martin in the kitchen

A Royal Appointment

Asda's James Martin spills the beans on what it's like to hang out with The Queen

By Asda Good Living, 09 June 2016
A Royal Appointment

This weekend we celebrate the Queen's official 90th birthday. And Asda's James Martin is first in line to wish her a Happy Birthday having had the pleasure of her company last year with an unexpected invite to Buckingham Palace.

The corgis run alongside her, they're all over the place and she's feeds them little titbits all the time

'I thought it was one of these lunches for 400 and I turned up suited and booted because I was told by people I would need a new suit and tie so I bought all that,' he explains. 'I pulled into the Palace through the archway, got shown where to park, walked up the steps and was shown into this room and there were four of us.

'Suddenly in come all these corgis and the Queen with the Duke of Edinburgh. We stood and had a chat for about five minutes and she said 'Shall we go for lunch?' The Duke was one side of me, the Queen was opposite me and I was thinking: 'This is a bit weird'.'

Given the sheer number of people the Queen meets through functions and meet and greets, James was amazed by her attention to detail and attentiveness as they took coffee together privately after lunch.

'She knew everything, she is super, super intelligent. She knew what you did for a living, what you are doing, what's happening in the industry, she's really switched on. And so easy to chat to, it was surreal, I just remember thinking it was like chatting to my gran. You're chatting away about corgis and bits and pieces and you suddenly realise this is the Queen I'm talking to...'

James reveals the corgis really are at the forefront of Her Majesty’s affections and everyday life.

'The corgis run alongside her, they're all over the place and she's feeds them little titbits all the time.' 

And James reveals that the Queen gets served the best. 'The food was amazing, the duck was from one of the estates.

'I've now got my copy of the menu and the seating plan in my downstairs loo!' 

Don't miss more great James Martin interviews, plus his tips for a great barbecue and delicious recipes for al fresco dining