Carolyn Robb, who worked for Prince Charles for 11 years, has given a fascinating glimpse of Her Majesty the loving grandmother.
South-African born Carolyn, 50, started her royal career in 1988 working for the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at Kensington Palace.
'All of a sudden you are meeting these incredibly famous people who you have only seen on TV and in magazines!'
“On Christmas Day itself I couldn’t believe the amount of time the Queen spent giving out presents to staff.
'There were a huge number of us and we were each given some soap presents.'
A year later, Carolyn went to work for Charles and Diana. For the next 11 years she had a ring-side seat as the Prince and Princess of Wales’s marriage disintegrated, William and Harry grew up and tragically, Diana died in a 1997 car crash.
At William’s 1996 confirmation, Charles and Diana were getting divorced, but the Queen acted as if nothing was wrong.
'What struck me most was how much all the grandchildren adored the Queen and how relaxed she was, laughing and joking - you couldn’t wish for a more lovely granny'.
Carolyn also prepared lunch for the Queen when she visited Charles at Highgrove.
'She came a couple of times and she had some simple light meals with fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden, like asparagus and tomatoes, and pheasant from Sandringham.'
'People assume the royals eat caviar and lobster all the time but they prefer simple food.' Diana loved souffles and lamb, but mainly ate salads.
'As a young boy Harry loved mini treacle tarts I made and William adored a chocolate biscuit cake which I believe he had at his wedding reception.'
When the royal couple separated in 1992 Carolyn stayed on with Charles, and travelled all over the world with him.
'I prepared meals on the Royal Yacht Britannia and I wouldn’t have missed any of it' she said. 'I’m just grateful for such an extraordinary experience.'
Carolyn’s favourite recipes are available in her book The Royal Touch, published in 2015.