AN ARMY chef will be overseeing a civic luncheon for the Queen during her visit to York today as he prepares to step down from a military career which has spanned 20 years.
Staff Sergeant Alan Betteridge, who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia, has created the menu for the luncheon at the Mansion House after the Royal Maundy service in York Minster.
The honour of cooking for the monarch will be his last meal while serving in the Army, and he will prepare and serve the food featuring the finest Yorkshire produce with a 34-strong team of chefs and waiters.
Staff Sgt Betteridge, 38, from 2 Signal Regiment, has cooked for the Royal family before, including the Queen when he was a junior chef.
He said: “I’ve given over 20 years of service to Her Majesty, serving in Iraq, the Falklands, Northern Ireland and Bosnia. So it seems very fitting that the last meal I cook will be for her. It’s a real honour.”
The Queen’s visit will see the culmination of six months of planning which will also showcase the city’s 800th anniversary since being granted a Royal Charter.
She will be greeted by a civic party led by the council’s chief executive Kersten England, who is the first ever woman to hold the title, at the city’s traditional entrance of Micklegate Bar.
Ms England claimed it is “an incredible honour” to welcome the Queen during the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee year, and added: “There’s been a real buzz in the city over the last few days and we’re expecting over 15,000 people to come to York to share in the atmosphere.”