What would one pay for a piece (literally) of royal history? This past week a piece of Her Majesty’s wedding cake was sold at auction for £1,750 complete in its original case dated 20 November 1947. Previously, the 66 year old slice had been donated to the Princess Alice Hospice in Surrey and before that, it belonged to one of the guards of honour who attended the royal wedding. The cake was discovered in a filing cabinet where it is said to have been for 15 years.
The fruit cake has been impeccably unspoiled since the wedding in 1947. “The cake was made using rum and brandy, which would explain how it has lasted so well,” Charlotte George, a representative from Christie’s commented in The Telegraph. She continued, “Remarkably, it is still in one piece, wrapped in baking parchment. I wouldn’t recommend eating it — but as a collector’s item, it is fantastic.”
The Princess Elizabeth, now The Queen, and Lieutenant Phillip Mountbatten RN, Duke of Edinburgh, married on 20th November 1947 at Westminster Abbey. The country was recuperating from the war and The Princess used ration cards to procure the material and supplies needed for her wedding dress. Donations for the cake poured in as well.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip’s wedding cake was 9 feet high, had four-tiers and weighed about 500 pounds. It was known as the “10,000-mile wedding cake” because it was made using Australian and South African ingredients, according to the Daily Mail. The cake was baked and constructed by McVitie and Price, the biscuit company who made a traditional “Groom’s Cake” for the Duke of Cambridge on the occasion of his wedding in 2011.
Keeping with tradition, Prince Philip cut the royal cake with his royal sword. It was then distributed amongst the 2,000 guests. A layer of the wedding cake was reserved for the christening of Prince Charles that would take place a year later.