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A slice of history: Piece of The Queen’s wedding cake sells at auction

A slice of wedding cake from the marriage of Princess Elizabeth of England (the future Queen Elizabeth II) to Philip Mountbatten recently sold for £500 at an auction.

The slice was taken from a much larger fruit cake that was served to guests after the royal wedding in 1947. Thanks to its high alcohol content, the cake is still edible, despite being over 68 years old. It is still wrapped in its original baking parchment and was auctioned along with its original ivory-coloured box.

The box is decorated with a silver E and P and bears the words ‘Buckingham Palace, 20th November 1947.’ It comes along with a small card that reads: “With the best wishes of their Royal Highnesses Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh”.

Princess Elizabeth’s four-tiered wedding cake was nine feet high. It earned the nickname “the 10,000-mile wedding cake”, as its ingredients were flown in from South Africa and Australia owing to the severe shortage of resources in the UK following the Second World War. Similarly, the Princess’s wedding dress was made using material purchased by clothing ration coupons, which were sent to her by hundreds of other brides around the country.

The cake was auctioned by Gorringes Auctioneers in Lewes, East Sussex, after being put up for sale by a woman whose father attended the royal wedding. An unnamed bidder from Los Angeles won the auction paying £500 pounds for the cake and an additional £125 for buyer’s premium and VAT.

The 1947 wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the newly appointed Duke of Edinburgh was the event of the year. The young couple had become engaged in 1946 after Philip asked King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage. The wedding ceremony was held in Westminster Abbey and attended by members of the Royal Families of Europe, as well as famous and influential people from all parts of the world. Both the wedding and the marriage proved to be a runaway success – the latter has lasted for nearly 69 years and is still going strong.

Featured photo credit: Defence Images

  • Ricky

    I’ve read about the clothing coupons people sent to Princess Elizabeth for her wedding dress, which serves as a good illustration of the British public’s warm feelings for the Royal Family.

    But I’ve also read that Buckingham Palace returned the coupons to their senders, with a note of thanks for their thoughtfulness . This was because these coupons were non-transferable, so accepting and using donated coupons would’ve been a violation of the rationing rules during postwar austerity.

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