Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Queen and cake

The Queen received hundreds of homemade cakes for her 90th birthday celebrations this year
(photo BBC TV still)

News that the Queen has been dishing up birthday cakes sent for her 90th to her dinner guests with their coffee should come as no surprise. As Lady Elizabeth Anson, the cousin who made the revelation said, the Queen does like to make good use of everything - no waste in the House of Windsor. But given that some of the best royal photos around have involved Elizabeth II cutting a cake, why would anyone miss a chance to see the Queen slicing the sponge? To celebrate her birthday thriftiness, here are six special moments when the Queen cut cakes.

The Women's Institute are celebrated for their cakes and for their links with the Queen who heads off to a local Norfolk meeting every January. So when the Monarch helped the Institute marks its centenary in 2015 there was bound to be a cake and we can safely say Elizabeth II enjoyed cutting this one. With the help of her daughter, the Princess Royal, and her daughter-in-law, the Countess of Wessex, she giggled her way through a graceful attempt at slicing the cake before Anne decided to help, grabbed the knife and hacked into the icing. More laughs and a great royal photo - that's the way to cut a cake.

There was always going to be a lot of excitement around the Queen's official 90th birthday cake and who better to produce a three tier masterpiece ready for global scrutiny than Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussein. She presented the Queen with a very regal purple and gold offering in Windsor and got a good laugh into the bargain as the birthday Monarch attacked her creation with the same gusto that she brings to every cake cutting. 

Sometimes, cakes just need cutting. There's no point standing around trying to decide the best way to slice, you just need to get on with it. That's what happened when the Queen was presented with a special Diamond Jubilee cake made for her by students at Yeovil College. Business like, efficient and photo gold, Again.

When you're as good at cutting cakes as the Queen then there are bound to be moments when you find yourself checking out the slicing skills of others. When the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Botanic Gardens at Kew in 2009 to help celebrate its 250th anniversary, Philip had a go at the cake and his wife looked less than amused. The Queen + cake = guaranteed golden photo.

Elizabeth and Philip's eldest son didn't come off much better in the cake cutting approval stakes. The Queen did the look that every mother knows - proud but really, hasn't he learned by now - as Charles sliced into a celebration treat for the Prince's Trust anniversary earlier this year.  Like father, like son on this one.

Whereas when you've been cutting official cakes for 64 years and counting, you don't even need to look at what you're doing. Princess Anne could only laugh as her mother sliced a special anniversary cake for Women's Day without even blinking. No wonder those birthday treats are being shared out so happily.

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