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A spectacular royal wedding cake that celebrated an historic marriage

It was a showstopper of a bake for a dream royal wedding. When Harald of Norway, then Crown Prince, married Sonja Haraldsen in 1968, their cake was truly spectacular. As well as being big enough to feed a palace full of guests it was decorated in spectacular style, as befits a regal celebration. It was a gift from Oslo’s Baker Society, and it was made by only two bakers.

It took baker-master, Rolf Bjerke and his colleague, Gunnar Frivold, 120 hours to bake the wedding cake: a plum cake of 150 kg, 2.5 meters high, on seven floors. The man who decorated the whole cake was Rolf Bjerke – and the cake was made in the bakery of Baker Samson on the Gyldenløve Street in downtown Oslo.

The cake contained, among other things, 1 litre of cognac, 1.5 litres of room, 10 kilograms of butter, 10 kilograms of sugar, 14 kilograms of flour, 26 kilograms of different fruits, 50 kilograms of marzipan and 200 eggs.

The last details are added to the cake before transport to the Royal Palace in Oslo. Photo: Leif Ørnelund / The Norwegian Digital Museum/ Oslo Museum.

Each of the seven layers was decorated with the then new monogram of the bride and groom.  Other decorations were red hearts made out of sugar, a golden horse, a small sailing boat and an angel symbolising Amor. On top of the cake were two miniature figures of the bride and groom, surrounded by a royal crown painted in edible gold.

The cake had many similarities with the cake that King Harald and Queen Sonja’s son, Crown Prince Haakon, and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit, had at their wedding in 2001. That cake also had seven layers, weighed about 150 kilos, but it was a bit higher. It measured 2.7 metres.

The engagement between Crown Prince Harald and Sonja Haraldsen was announced on 19 March 1968. On the wedding day itself, Oslo was decorated for a party with flags and flowers. Nearly 3,000 soldiers guarded the wedding route from the Royal Palace to the cathedral. About 850 guests were invited to the wedding. And the cake was big enough to ensure that everyone enjoyed a slice to celebrate.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.