An Army chef who has cooked on the front line will end his career in style today when he cooks for Her Majesty The Queen in York.
Staff Sergeant Alan Betteridge, from 2 Signal Regiment, has been cooking for the Army for 20 years.
In that time SSgt Betteridge has travelled all round the world, delivering the very best food available to those who risk their lives in battle.
Now, as he nears the end of his Army career, SSgt Betteridge will cook his last meal, for the British Monarch and civic dignitaries at the Mansion House after the Royal Maundy service in York Minster, where The Queen will distribute Maundy money to local pensioners.
Speaking ahead of the event, SSgt Betteridge said:
It’s great to be preparing lunch for Her Majesty The Queen. It’s a huge opportunity for the team and I’ll certainly be leaving the Army with a bang.
I’ve given over twenty 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.
Alan has cooked for members of the Royal Family before, including Her Majesty, when he was a junior chef. He created the Maundy Thursday menu himself, and will prepare and serve it with a 34-strong team of Army and civilian chefs and waiters.
Lieutenant Colonel Colin Vaudin, Commanding Officer of 2 Signals, said his Regiment was invited to do the catering by the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor David Horton. He said:
This event provides a great opportunity for the Regiment to support the Civic community, and also recognises the fact we will be leaving for a tour of duty in Afghanistan this autumn.
Every soldier from the Regiment was keen to be involved with the lunch for Her Majesty, and there is definitely a buzz of excitement and nervousness in the air leading up to the event.
But I’m sure, under Staff Sergeant Betteridge’s control, everything will run smoothly on the day and be a recipe for success!