6 Royal Wedding Menus From History That Might Help Predict What Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Will Be Like
Megan Markle and Prince Harry's nuptials are quickly approaching, and one of the biggest questions I've got about it — aside from whether or not the Obamas or Trump will make an appearance — is what kind of food they'll serve at the royal wedding. Markle is a self-proclaimed foodie, which gives me hope that the duo will ditch the peas and partridge in favor of, say, pasta and Negronis, or Niçoise salad, or these spectacular-looking fish tacos. Just a few suggestions!
Curating a menu for any wedding is a tough job, but obviously, this one's going to be a little tougher. For one thing, there are a lot of cultural differences between food at British weddings and food at American ones. For instance, in the U.K., people usually call their wedding meal a "wedding breakfast," even though the meal doesn't usually include breakfast foods (though wedding pancakes sound pretty tasty). The Brits also do a long champagne toast before handing out canapés and harder booze, while Americans tend to serve his-and-hers signature cocktails and heartier appetizers before moving to the sit down meal. Also, fruit cakes are popular at weddings across the pond, while in the States cakes tend to be a white-iced sponge. There's a lot of speculation on the Interwebz over what cake flavor Markle and Harry will pick, should you care to take a look.
And, of course, there's a bigger hurdle for Markle's menu, since there are certain culinary requirements royal families must adhere to at weddings, and other times. In fact, though Markle's a big fan of seafood, British royals are prohibited from eating shellfish, so...no shrimp.
Here are some delicacies from the U.K. royal weddings of yore.
William and Kate
When Prince William and Kate Middleton wed in 2011, they served Brit-specific finger foods like Cornish crab salad on lemon blini; quails eggs with celery salt; bubble and squeak with confit shoulder of lamb, and miniature Yorkshire pudding with roast fillet of beef and horseradish mousse, according to The Spruce. They also had an eight-tier fruit cake, designed by famed royal wedding cake designer Fiona Cairns.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana
Prince Charles and Princess Diana famously served a five-foot tall fruitcake at their 1981 wedding, in addition to with 26 other cakes displayed around the reception room (seriously, this was my kind of wedding). They also offered up a fish dish, chicken stuffed with fine lamb mousse (dubbed Princess de Galles Supreme de Voilaille), and strawberries and cream for dessert.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
When Queen (the Princess) Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten married in 1947, Britain was still trying to regain its footing after costly World War II. That meant the duo had an "austerity wedding," in which they attempted to keep costs low to observe mandatory rationing. Still, they served up a feast, with menu items including partridges in casserole, pommes noisette, and filet de sole Mountbatten. Most impressively, they ended the meal with an ice cream dish dubbed Bombe Glacée Princess Elizabeth, which was topped with out-of-season strawberries, a rather luxurious delicacy in those days.
Elizabeth and Albert
When late Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon married Prince Albert (later, King George VI) in 1923, they served a soup, a salmon dish, lamb cutlets named after Prince Albert, and Scottish-style capons—and they too concluded their meal with strawberries and cream.
George V and Queen Mary
In 1893, Queen Victoria threw her son, then the Duke of York but soon-to-be George V, and his bride, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, an elaborate seventeen-course wedding feast. Dishes included a lobster salad, several chicken dishes, sliced cold tongue and ham, green beans, calf liver, beef fillets, braised lamb cutlets, chicken consomme, and a side table of cold roast fowls, with pastries and jellies and cream for dessert.
Victoria and Albert
In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in the Chapel Royal of St. James's Palace in London. There, the couple served a 300 pound cake, which is something I have only envisioned in my very best dreams. That cake was, in fact, one of several cakes. The Brits do weddings best.