wedding-cakes

The secret items hidden inside the Queen's wedding cake & more fascinating royal cake facts

Royal weddings call for a fabulous cake!

Sophie Hamilton

A royal wedding is always a time of great excitement, as regal fans join in the celebrations and wait to see the bride's breathtaking dress, beautiful flowers and bridal party on the big day. The wedding cake is also a highly anticipated part of a royal wedding, and we've seen several spectacular royal cakes throughout history.

Did you know that the Queen's cake was a huge 9ft high, while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's impressive confection had a rumoured value of £57,000!

The wedding cake of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was said to be around 10ft in circumference - imagine baking and transporting such a masterpiece.

MORE: 15 show-stopping royal wedding cakes you have to see

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WATCH: Royal wedding cakes through the years

HELLO! wanted to learn even more about the special cakes which have captured the world's attention through the years.

We spoke to Prince William and Duchess Kate's wedding cake maker, Fiona Cairns, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brookbank's cake maker, Sophie Cabot, who shared some fascinating new details about their iconic creations.

Plus, we have some amazing little-known facts about the Queen and Prince Phillip's wedding cake, and what was hidden inside the bottom layer!

Here, we take a look back through history's incredible royal wedding cakes…

 

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

Cake designer: Sophie Cabot

New parents Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank married on Friday 12 October 2018 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Eugenie, who welcomed her first child August with husband Jack on 9 February 2021, looked absolutely stunning in her Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos bridal gown on her special day.

princess-eugenie

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank 

The couple hired London-based cake designer Sophie Cabot to create their stunning autumnal-themed wedding cake.

Sophie exclusively told HELLO! of Eugenie and Jack's cake: "The stacking and decorating of the cake all happened in the kitchens at Windsor over a total of 1.5 days.

"At Windsor it was just myself, my assistant and my wonderful mother who helps out with every wedding delivery I make – she knows just what to do, and how to keep me calm!"

princess-eugenie-cake

"The cake was transported in parts, so I delivered the very fragile sugar work at the beginning of the wedding week.

"Then a few days later, once the cakes were baked and iced at Buckingham Palace, they were driven down to Windsor. And yes, some backup tiers were baked and iced as well!"

Sophie also revealed: "It took a trolley, two men, myself and team to very carefully take the bottom 4 tiers from the kitchen through the corridors of Windsor, up the lift and into its final setting. The top tier was then carefully placed in situ and I spent some time adding final touches and tweaking before finally letting it be!"

MORE: 9 most beautiful wedding cakes from the world of celebrity!

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Cake designer: Clair Ptak

It feels like yesterday that Prince Harry married Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel in Windsor. The royal couple, who are now parents to one-year-old son Archie and are expecting their second baby in summer 2021, beamed with happiness as they waved to crowds following their wedding ceremony.

meghan-markle

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan

Duchess Meghan looked beautiful in a bespoke Givenchy bridal gown, while Harry was the smart groom in his military uniform. Meghan's mother Doria Ragland joined her in the car on arrival at the chapel and Prince Charles accompanied Meghan down the aisle.

Harry and Meghan's wedding cake was extremely modern with an unconventional-yet-pretty design. Unlike the towering layered royal cakes we're used to, the couple chose to have four cakes arranged beside each other on ornate stands.

prince-harry-cake

American baker, Clair Ptak, who runs Violet Cakes in London's East End designed the cake and told Eater London of working with Meghan:

"It was so exciting to work with someone who has impeccable taste. And it ended up being a collaboration. She really knows what she wants. And I always knew we were going to do something together that was different, cool, modern and unique. We’re both from California and we both moved to England, so we have common ground."

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Cake designer: Fiona Cairns

Prince William and Catherine married on 29 April 2011 at London's Westminster Abbey in what was the biggest royal wedding since Prince Charles and Diana.

Kate wore a fabulous wedding gown by Alexander McQueen and William was dapper in his military uniform; Prince Harry was best man and Kate's sister Pippa was her Maid of Honour.  It was a truly spectacular day, from the vintage car and carriages to the flower girls, page boys and that balcony kiss!

kate-middleton

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

William and Kate's cake was equally jaw-dropping. Made by cake designer Fiona Cairns, the cake cleverly combined traditional style with a modern twist.

Fiona exclusively told HELLO!: "Our cake was breaking tradition in the sense that it was sugar paste – it was a softer look, a more romantic look. The flowers were sort of cascading down. It was a different look."

kate-middleton-cake

She also revealed: "It amazes people that we hadn't actually seen the finished cake assembled until the day before the wedding. So you can imagine how stressful the whole thing was because we'd worked it all out to great detail." But all came together on the day and the finished cake was so beautiful.

"[William and Kate did] quite a few tastings because we made all these different fruit cake recipes," says Fiona. "We sent samples of cake, designs, mood boards and drawings. There was a lot of toing and froing like that."

Fiona Cairns cakes are available to buy from Waitrose

 

The Earl and Countess of Wessex

Cake designer: Linda Fripp

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones wed on 19 June 1999 in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle – the same venue as Princess Eugenie and the Duchess of Sussex. Sophie was an elegant bride in a dress by Samantha Shaw and wore a tiara borrowed from the Queen's private collection.

sophie-wessex

Prince Edward and Countess Sophie

They later celebrated their marriage with a reception in the Waterloo Chamber of the castle, with an impressive tiered and pillared cake made by Linda Fripp of Linda Fripp Designs in Wiltshire.

prince-edward

Linda previously told the BBC: "It was a delicious cake made with lots of chocolate, following a recipe I've evolved over years and years." She added that every bit of the cake was eaten at the wedding, although some pieces were saved for the staff to eat too.

MORE: Mary Berry's brilliant hack for baking a quick Victoria Sponge cake revealed

 

Prince Charles and Diana

Cake designer: David Avery at the Royal Navy Cookery School

The wedding of Prince Charles and then Lady Diana Spencer at London's St Paul's Cathedral on 29 July 1981 was a grand affair. The late Princess Diana wore a now-iconic wedding gown designed by the Emmanuels which boasted a 25ft train and 10,000 pearls!

princess-diana

Prince Charles and Princess Diana

The couple's wedding reception was held at Buckingham Palace, with the official wedding cake made by David Avery at the Royal Navy's Cookery School. The cake certainly had the wow factor and is seen as one of history's classic royal wedding cakes.

prince-charles-cake

David told the Lancashire Telegraph how making the royal wedding cake was an honour but it involved hard work: He revealed: "The event came under worldwide attention and the press were always trying to get a look at what we were doing."

He added how he met with Diana to find out if she liked his design. "She said to me, 'I want a wedding cake, not a monument'. I think that's what she got." David told the publication how the late Princess was quiet but was happy with his cake design.

 

The Queen and Prince Philip

Cake designer: McVitie & Price

Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey and their wedding reception was held in the Ball-Supper Room of Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty looked beautiful in a satin bridal gown by Normal Hartnell, accompanied by her eight bridesmaids, including her sister Princess Margaret.

the-queen

The Queen and Prince Philip

The wedding breakfast menu included Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, and Bombe Glacee Princess Elizabeth, while the couple's magnificent cake was designed by Mr. Schur, chief confectioner at McVite & Price. McVitie & Price also made the wedding cake for King George V and Queen Mary.

the-queen-cake

In an unearthed press release from 1947, HELLO! has discovered some fascinating details about the cake, namely that:  "Each piece of sugar work was made separately and then fitted into its place on the cake."

Another amazing fact is that: "The conventional lucky charms are hidden in the bottom tier."

We had no idea the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding cake had secret lucky charms hidden inside it! Fruit cakes traditionally include seven silver lucky charms: a silver coin, a thimble, a bell, a button, a boot and a horseshoe.

MORE: 5 female chefs' inspiring journeys: Nigella Lawson, Nadiya Hussain & more

 

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Cake designer: Gunter and Waud

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married on 10 February 1840 at the Chapel Royal, St James' Palace in London.

queen-victoria

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Victoria wore a cream-coloured satin and lace wedding dress designed by William Dyce and Mary Bettans. Like Princess Diana years later, Queen Victoria's bridal gown had a long train 5.5 metres long!

queen-victoria-cake

The couple's wedding cake was quite remarkable too. Made by Gunter and Ward, the creation was an incredible 10ft wide – we're not sure we've ever seen a cake that big before. It must have been quite an impressive sight.

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