Wedding breakfast 'fit for royalty'
The Queen's head chef has spoken of his pride at having the task of creating an unforgettable menu for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding reception.
Mark Flanagan said his Buckingham Palace kitchen team would be under pressure and working flat out but would be guided by the need to ensure the food was a memorable experience.
The cook, who has worked for some of the world's best chefs, including Michel and Albert Roux and Raymond Blanc, is relishing the challenge of preparing dishes for the 600 reception guests at the palace on April 29.
But Mr Flanagan remained tight-lipped about which hot and cold canapes and sweets would be served to those invited, only hinting that the best British produce would be used.
The 43-year-old, who said his staff of 21 were "excited" about the royal nuptials, added: "For us to be involved in any of the large events is just great, it's a huge opportunity for us to say we were part of that.
"Whether it's for the visit of Mr Obama (in May) or the Duke of Edinburgh's 90th birthday (in the summer) or the royal wedding - they're all chance-in-a-lifetime events."
The chef added: "At any large event we are always conscious of trying to make sure we uphold people's expectations when they come to Buckingham Palace.
"For a lot of people it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and certainly from the kitchen side of things we try to encourage everybody to make sure nobody goes away saying 'Wasn't it amazing and didn't you see the gents in red coats and the pictures - but the food wasn't up to much' - that's not what we'd like."
The kitchen's staff prepare food for everyone at the Palace, from the youngest footman up to the Queen when she is in residence, and create on average 550 meals a day.
Much of the produce from game to vegetables is sourced from the monarch's gardens and estates around the country and Royal Warrant holding suppliers.