Queen's 70th Wedding Anniversary: the wedding breakfast
Let's talk cake. The 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh is being celebrated with a private dinner for family and friends at Windsor Castle tonight but while they feast, we'll just get happy with a look back at what the rather substantial guest list tucked into at the royal wedding breakfast all those decades ago. We've got fish, game, fruit and a cake that is beyond legend. Hope you're hungry, here comes the royal wedding food list...
The House of Windsor does like to add a personal touch to the wedding breakfast menu. The Queen's parents had enjoyed Prince Albert lamb and Duchess Elizabeth strawberries after their nuptials and their first born followed in their footsteps. Her wedding breakfast, served in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace, was a three course menu named after her and her new hubby. Appropriately for seafaring man, the starter was a fish dish named after the groom. Quite what Filet de Sole Mountbatten actually is remains lost to the mists of time but there's only so much you can do with a sole fillet and being as rationing was still in place, the guests no doubt hoovered the delicacy up without worrying too much about whether the recipe suited the namesake.
The main course was partridge (plentiful on royal estates) cooked in a casserole which was no doubt more sophisticated than it sounds but perfect for warming everyone up on a cold November day. The dessert was Bombe Glacee Princesse Elizabeth, a strawberry pud, just to keep the family tradition really going. After all that, the newlyweds needed some fresh air and hopped out on to the balcony for a spot of waving (no kissing, this is the 1940s, thank you).
After that brief respite, there was also the mighty wedding cake to contend with. Made by McVitie and Price, it was nine feet tall and consisted of four tiers. Four very big tiers. Ingredients were sent from around the world - after all, rationing was still in place - and the finished product was nicknamed the 10,000 mile cake. It was covered in intricate royal icing and featured the couple's respective coats of arms as well as representations of their interests. King George VI had given his new son-in-law a sword as a wedding present and Philip wasted no time putting it to good use - the couple sliced into the cake with it.
So there you go. Fish, partridge, strawberries and cake. In post war Britain it was a treat of a meal and then some. Seventy years on, it still sounds delicious. And a glass of champagne to toast the anniversary wouldn't hurt either. Here's to more happy years to come.