Why Princess Anne Eats Overripe Bananas

Everyone who takes a job working for the royal family must sign a confidentiality agreement covering matters to which they may become privy while employed, according to Forbes. Nevertheless, some royal family staffers have, over the years, offered brief reveals on matters seemingly within the purview of their employment. For example, former royal family chef Graham Newbould has revealed that it's never proper to serve "pointy" foods to the royal family (via Hello). And how else would we know His Majesty King Charles III doesn't care for these foods

Indeed, one particular anecdote gleaned in the course of working for the royal family has been particularly "ripe" for revelation. It concerns Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, and more specifically, how she prefers her bananas. As Steven Scott Kaye — who served as a footman to the late Queen Elizabeth II — told Slingo in an interview, Princess Anne "only" eats bananas after they've gone black.

The duties of the monarch's footman include serving meals to members of the royal family, according to PBS. As Kaye told Slingo, he first learned about Princess Anne's banana preferences from a royal chef. He doesn't specify which royal chef. However, Darren McGrady, who cooked for the royal family for around 15 years during the 80s and 90s, has also commented on the Princess Royal's preference for bananas so ripe that others might be inclined to discard them uneaten, per Today. The question you might be asking right about now is: why?

The a-peel of an overripe banana

Banana producers often time their supermarket deliveries so that their bananas arrive perfectly ripe to the store. That offers a convenience for some, but it also means that bananas tend to go from yellow to overripe so rapidly that many end up as food waste, according to NowThis. That said, one notable individual who apparently sees no reason to waste an overripe banana is Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. According to former royal chef, Darren McGrady, the reason is that overripe bananas are "more easily digested" (via Today). 

Although some have called the practice of eating mottled, black bananas "stomach-churning," the fact is that bananas actually become easier to digest as they ripen, according to SF Gate. The reason is that, as it ripens, a banana's starch content converts into simple sugars, which digest more rapidly in the human body, per Eating Well. This also makes an overripe banana taste sweeter. Further, the riper a banana becomes, the lower its fiber content, which allows overripe bananas to pass more easily through the digestive tract. 

By the same token, eating overripe bananas provides a quicker source of energy than yellow bananas, per Merck Manuals Consumer Version. So, turns out there was sound reasoning behind Princess Anne's seemingly strange habit.