Queen Elizabeth’s former pastry chef, who worked in the royal kitchens for 11 years, was accused of being an “illegal tour guide” when he visited Buckingham Palace last week.
Darren McGrady – who also spent four years working for the late Princess Diana at Kensington Palace – was stunned when he was verbally attacked by officials as he and his friends were viewing the state rooms of the palace.
As well as being called an illegal tour guide, the 46-year-old chef was shouted at by another member of staff and claims he was hit on the back by a third.
Mr. McGrady – who, with his group of friends, paid £2,000 for the trip which included tours around Windsor Castle and Kensington Palace – is quoted in The Daily Mail as saying: “It was very upsetting to be treated like that, especially after all the years I spent trudging up and down those corridors.
“It was aggressive and quite inappropriate behaviour. One of the ladies with me said she now understood what Princess Diana must have gone through.”
Mr. McGrady said his visit went wrong almost as soon as he started.
He added: “We were waiting in line to go in and I pointed out a photograph of the banquet room and was saying it wouldn’t be like that for a banquet, when one of the uniformed attendants shouted out that it would.
“Soon afterwards in the ballroom, where I was asked about the finer bowls on display, I felt this slap on my shoulder. A woman was saying I was a tour guide and they weren’t allowed. I told her I was no such thing I was explaining things to my friends. She angrily said, ‘You are not allowed to’.
“We moved away and the next thing there is a man with a walkie-talkie attached to our group. He was with us until the tour ended. It was very intimidating.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Collection, who run the summer opening, could not be reached for comment.