Mary Berry snubbed dinner with Queen after thinking invite was ‘wind up’

TV cooking icon Dame Mary Berry has revealed that she accidently turned down dinner with the Queen after thinking that an invite to the palace was a 'wind-up'.

The former Great British Bake Off judge, 87, was inducted into the Radio Times Hall of Fame at the weekend (May 20, 2022), and was joined for the special occasion by her close friend and Strictly host Claudia Winkleman.

Ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Mary led the search for the Platinum Jubilee Pudding on a special BBC programme – and speaking at the festival, she shared her memories of dinner with the Queen – despite having accidently turned down the invitation at first.

Speaking at the festival, she said: "I was alone in the kitchen and it [the phone] rang and it was from the palace.

"Well I didn't believe it was from the palace – I thought it was my son Thomas mucking about with one of his friends. Then obviously it was.

However due to other commitments, Mary turned down the invitation, adding: "She gave me the date and I looked at the diary, and I said 'I'm going to Earlam Hall, and the audience have all paid for their tickets. I can't possibly go. Please thank her very much."

Despite this, Mary was later able to attend dinner with the Queen, who she has since met on many occasions and considers a 'highlight of her career'.

She also recalled that at her first audience with the Queen, she was not the only expert cook in the room – but the late Prince Phillip was too.

"There were just 12 of us and it was so clever, as they had oval table and you normally have mum and dad at either end don't you? But she and [Prince] Phillip sat in the middle," said Mary.

"I was sat next to Prince Phillip and he was very chatty, and said he was the expert on barbecues," adding that after he described his cooking technique to her, she thought: "He really knew what he was talking about," and that the Duke was also a huge fan of The Hairy Bikers.

However, Mary revealed that her favourite moment of the dinner was the Queen's faithful furry friends, adding: "A highlight for me was all the corgis running about.

"Then at the end, she got a little silver box and opened it and she gave each one [a treat]."

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