"I was thinking, 'Gosh, what should I give her?' I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents," Kate said

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge Visit The East Midlands
Kate Middleton and Queen Elizabeth in 2012
| Credit: Phil Noble/WPA Pool/Getty

Finding the perfect Christmas gift for your in-laws can be nerve-racking — especially when that family member is Queen Elizabeth!

Kate Middleton was feeling the pressure to find a suitable present for the monarch ahead of her very first Christmas with the royal family in 2011 after her wedding to Prince William.

“I can remember being at Sandringham, for the first time, at Christmas. And I was worried what to give the Queen as her Christmas present,” Kate revealed in the 2016 ITV special Our Queen at Ninety.

“I was thinking, ‘Gosh, what should I give her?’ I thought back to what would I give my own grandparents. And I thought, ‘I’ll make her something.’ Which could have gone horribly wrong,” Kate said, adding, “But I decided to make my granny’s recipe of chutney.”

And to Kate’s surprise, the chutney was well-received.

“I was slightly worried about it, but I noticed the next day that it was on the table,” she explained. “I think such a simple gesture went such a long way for me and I’ve noticed since she’s done that on lots of occasions and I think it just shows her thoughtfulness, really, and her care in looking after everybody.”

Queen Elizabeth II And The Duchess Of Cambridge Visit King's College London
Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton in 2019
| Credit: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty

So what goes into the Middleton family chutney? According to Celebrate, the 2012 cookbook and entertaining guide written by Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, the recipe features, apples, onions and “marrows” – that’s zucchini for Americans.

The condiment, which is called “Granny’s Marrow Chutney” in Pippa’s book, involves simmering 4 lbs. of zucchini with a mixture of raisins, onions, brown sugar, malt vinegar and other seasonings for two hours.

Kate has been spending a lot of quality time cooking with her three kids — Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2 — this year as they’ve been periodically in lockdown due to the pandemic.

Kate Middleton, Prince William, family
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Louis, Princess Charlotte and Prince George
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

"The children have been attacking the kitchen, and it’s just been an explosion of flour and chocolate everywhere," William said during a visit to a local family-owned bakery in June. The family also baked cupcakes for veterans in the fall.

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"My children have bottomless pits," Kate said. "I feel like a constant feeding machine."

The Cambridge family will be spending the holiday season at their country home of Anmer Hall in Norfolk after the Queen canceled the royal family’s annual gathering at her Sandringham estate due to the COVID-19 crisis.