In this post will begin by discussing several of the British Royal Wedding Cakes made throughout the years starting with Queen Victoria to the most recent wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Then, in closing I will discuss the history of wedding cakes including the meanings of the various traditions and customs associated this delightful confectioner’s dessert served at the wedding reception.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
The wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took place in the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace on February 10, 1840. Afterwards, there was a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace and several wedding cakes were displayed and the main cake was a single layer about three yards in circumference and fourteen inches in height, it was also noted to weigh approximately 300 pounds. The cake was covered in white icing and decorated with several figurines and other floral embellishments. The cake top was almost a foot in height and featured a Britannia figurine and another figurine representing Queen Victoria on the right with a pair of turtle doves at her feet, while on the left was a figurine representing Prince Albert with a dog at his feet. A cupid figurine appears to be writing the date of their marriage into a book and there are also several additional cupids bearing the emblems of the United Kingdom.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert – wedding cake
Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra of Denmark
Prince Albert Edward and Princess Alexandra (later to become King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) were married at St. George Chapel in Windsor Castle on March 10, 1863. A wedding breakfast for five hundred guests was held afterwards to honor the bridal couple. Like his mother before him, several wedding cakes were made for the reception with the main wedding cake shown in the photo below. The mail cake was a three-tiered cake with white icing, at the base were rose, thistle and shamrock festoons intertwined with the British and Denmark coat of arms. In addition there were several figures of cupids with harps and near the top of the cake were two flags painted with the images of the Prince and Princess. At the very top were a Prince coronet with three ostrich feathers”, the symbol of the Prince of Wales.
Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra – wedding cake
Prince George and Princess May of Teck
Prince George and Princess May (later to become King George V and Queen Mary) were married at the Chapel Royal in St. James Palace on July 6, 1893, followed by a wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace. The main wedding cake measured almost seven feet high and it took over five weeks to make with almost forty separate pieces to create the figure molds; it is shown on the photo on the left. The photo on the right shows the “second cake” which was smaller, measured four and a half feet tall and weighed almost 225 pounds. The cake is decorated with symbols reflecting Prince George’s naval career.
Prince George and Princess Mary – wedding cakes
Prince Albert and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Prince Albert George and Lady Elizabeth (later to become King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) were married at Westminster Abbey on April 26, 1923, a wedding breakfast followed at Buckingham Palace. There were fourteen wedding cakes and the main one featured a four-tier cake which reached almost 10 feet in height and weighted over 700 pounds, the cake was made by McVitie and Price with ingredients supplied by the Girls Guide of Australia.
Prince George and Lady Elizabeth – wedding cake
Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten
Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten (later to become Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh) were married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey. The main cake was a four tier cake was nine feet high and weighed 500 pounds, it is shown in the photo below. The cake was elaborately decorated with Tudor roses, charming cupid figures, lavish columns and royal insignia. At the wedding breakfast the wedding cake was cut the Duke of Edinburgh’s military sword.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Phillip – wedding cake
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married on July 29, 1981 at St. Paul’s Cathedral. For the wedding breakfast held at Buckingham Palace there were an amazing 27 wedding cakes. The main cake was five tiered and stood five feet high styled simply with only a few embellishments and took fourteen weeks to create. The cake was decorated with white royal icing and featured the Windsor coat of arms made in marzipan; also the couple’s initials were used to adorn the cake. The cake was topped with fresh flowers including roses, lilies of the valley and orchids.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana – wedding cake
Prince William and Catherine (Kate) Middleton
Prince William and Catherine Middleton, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, were married on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey. In following the royal tradition, a wedding breakfast was held after the ceremony at Buckingham Palace. Fiona Cairns a traditional fruit cake covered with white fondant and additional piping and scrollwork; she incorporated many historical and symbolic decorations. There were the traditional gum paste flowers including the rose for England, the thistle for Scotland, daffodils for Wales and shamrocks for Ireland. As a special touch the Sweet William flowers, symbolizing gallantry, were also used to honor the groom.
Prince William and Katherine Middleton – wedding cake
Prince Harry and Meghan Mrkle, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were married on May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel located at Windsor Castle. The first of their two wedding receptions was held in the St. George’s Hall. This reception was officially hosted by Queen Elizabeth and the highlight of the luncheon was the wedding cake made by London based baker Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery. Sitting upon several golden stands the layered Amalfi lemon and English elderflower cake was decorated with peonies in shades of white and cream.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – wedding cake