Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Taste of Royal Weddings Past

I admit that I have gotten a little swept up in the William and Kate frenzy. I have visited the official website for the Royal Wedding, wondered aloud if Sir Elton will be attending, and am in the throes of preparing my own celebration at home. Nothing elaborate mind you. I have a feeling it will entail watching from my bed with Alfie, some coffee, and doughnuts. Glamorous, I know. It makes me think of Charles and Diana's wedding back in 1981. For that wedding, my sister and I were roused at the crack of dawn so that we could watch the momentous occasion, and thirty years later I vividly remember it. I've watched every Royal Wedding since then, so there is no way that I'm missing this one.

Of course, there is a lot of speculation as to who will design Kate's dress, but what I'm also curious about is what food will be served at the reception at Buckingham Palace. Do you want to know what was served at Charles and Diana's reception? Well, I can tell you thanks to a really interesting book,
A Taste Of The Past by John Lane.

For William's parents' breakfast reception at Buckingham Palace, the following was served: quenelles with fish sauce for the first course; chicken breast with buttered broad beans, creamed sweetcorn, and new potatoes for the main course; salad; strawberries and clotted cream for dessert.

After the reception, Charles and Diana spent the first three days of their honeymoon at the Mountbatten family home, the Broadlands estate in Hampshire. Then they flew to Gibraltar on the Royal Flight. The onboard breakfast served to the newlyweds included lobster, prawns, roast chicken and beef, salad, and a melon fruit cup. You can see the complete menu on the menu card, above.

And what has to be the most rollicking meal served was that on the Concorde during its London to New York flight on the morning of the wedding. Travelers had a bevy of wines, spirits, Bloody Marys, Whisky Sours, Gin Fizzes, Drambuie, and Macanudo cigars at their disposal. A celebratory Buck's Fizz was served before a breakfast of tournedos of beef wrapped in bacon and grilled with pork sausages and kidney, Coulibiac à la Russe, grilled tomato and mushrooms, cheese, rolls, and coffee. I feel a little drunk and sick just listing all of that. God only knows in what kind of shape the passengers arrived in New York.

All images except for that of William and Kate from A Taste Of The Past by John Lane.


  1. So interesting...especially the Concorde menu. I was thinking the same thing...all that rich food and alcohol!
    Mary Ann

  2. Have you seen the wedding planner's sketches for the ceremony and reception for Prince Albert II of Monaco? Refreshment tables are canopied by the gowns of harp playing dolls! (If that doesn't spur your interest, nothing will).

  3. TDC- I'm trying to wrap my head around that. I think that I need to find photos on the web!

  4. I was thrilled to find out about the Royal Wedding website this weekend. I too remember getting up in the wee hours of the morning to watch Charles and Diana's wedding. I guess all girls want to be princesses on their wedding day. My own 10 year old daughter can't wait to watch this wedding.

  5. I'm thinking of having a wedding party myself, with mandatory hats. Its a great year for the monarchy with Albert finally getting married, and Zara Phillips to her footballer fiance. Hello magazine is keeping me up to date, but I will have to check the royal website.

  6. I keep waiting for my invitation to the wedding to arrive in the post..darn it never has arrived. I will be watching on the telly for sure. Great post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  7. I'm with you Jennifer, I have pictures of Charles & Diana's wedding that I took of my TV!! never missed another one and am especially happy Albert of Monaco is finally settling down at 51!! I hope to see all the pageantry and pizzazz! I love Kate's style and she will no doubt be the 'apple' of the paparazzi's eyes!!

  8. What horrible menus! There's a PBS show called "A Royal Year" that showed an important dinner being planned and served at Buckingham Palace. Considerable thought was put into the menu and it sounded just horrible. If the Her Majesty invites me to her house I'm bringing my own food. :-)I'd like to send Thomas Keller over there and show them a nice dinner.

  9. Anonymous11:58 PM

    Ddi you know that only two Americans were invited to attend Charles' and Diana's wedding? I know one who attended, but I don't know the second.

    The one I know of attended because she paints with Charles in the Highlands. Interesting, right.

    Of course, I'm sworn to secrecy.

  10. Anonymous4:22 PM

    "The thing about mine fields is that they're very easy to lay, but they're very difficult and dangerous, and even expensive to get rid of' - the perfect description of Prince Charles's first wife." - Christopher Hitchens

  11. Anon- Thank you (and Christopher Hitchens) for the chuckle.

  12. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I wonder which china pattern Kate has chosen?

  13. Anon- That's a good question. I wonder how the registry thing works when you're marrying the future King of England.