In 1947, six years before she became the Queen we know today, Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten. The wedding was a spectacular affair, broadcast to 200 million by radio.
The royal couple married on November 20 at Westminster Abbey. Afterwards, they waved to adoring crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. There was also a large cake.
Thanks to the patisserie chefs at London’s famous Le Cordon Bleu, the Queen is to receive a recreation of her enormous wedding cake in celebration of her 70th anniversary with Prince Philip.
Chefs have spent months baking, crafting, piping and constructing the 9ft-tall, 500lb masterpiece. It is four-tiered, decorated with intricate detail and frilly bits, and topped with white roses.
The cake will feature in an ITV documentary ‘A Very Royal Wedding’, presented by Pointless host Alexander Armstrong, will chart the ceremony in all its grandeur – and find out quite how Britain pulled off such a wedding just two years after World War II, which left the country battered.
Rationing – then still in place – didn’t apply to the royal cake, which contained, both in 1947 and in its modern reincarnation, nearly 700 eggs and almost four gallons of rum.
The top tier will be given to the Queen and Prince Philip. The bottom will be sent to pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, as well as other charities and nursing homes.
Head patisserie chef Julie Walsh and her team at Le Cordon Bleu had to study old recipes for the bake.
“The project had its challenges due to the sheer size and scale,” said Julie. “Every detail had to be hand drawn to form a template because no original existed.”
Into specially designed tins went 60lb of butter, 55lb of sugar, 75lb of flour, 660 eggs, 80 oranges and lemons, 300lb of dried nuts and fruits, and three-and-a-half gallons of Navy rum; 150lb of marzipan and 110lb of icing sugar was used in the white royal icing.