Princess Kate’s wedding cake maker recalls surprising ‘informal’ request


Ahead of the Prince and Princess of Wales’ thirteenth wedding anniversary, which falls on 29 April, their wedding cake maker has shared some secrets about their big day.

Fiona Cairns took to Instagram to reveal the surprising brief she was asked to follow for the royal wedding in 2011. While fans may assume that the wedding of the future King would be filled with pomp and circumstance, the down-to-earth royals didn’t want their cake to reflect that.

 Fiona Cairns stands proudly next to the Royal Wedding cake that she and her team made for Prince William and Kate Middleton, in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace in central London, today.
Fiona Cairns opened up about making the royal wedding cake

“The brief was not to be ostentatious or grand, but romantic and informal in its structure,” she wrote next to a sketch of the confection, which was made up of 12 traditional fruit cakes intricately decorated with soft ivory sugar paste and arranged in tiers.

William and Kate's wedding cake© Getty
William and Kate asked for an “informal” wedding cake

Fiona continued by sharing lesser-known details, including the 17 meaningful flowers Princess Kate requested to feature on the cake. As well as blooms to symbolise England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, she said the cake featured Lily of the Valley decorations which “symbolises sweetness and humility.”

Many of these flowers were also handstitched into the bride’s veil and were part of her bridal bouquet.

Sharing behind-the-scenes details on how the cake was delivered to the royals, she added: “Driven carefully down the M1 to Buckingham Palace, the cake was a real architectural project standing over 1 metre tall, weighing 100kg, it took six people and three days to assemble. The bottom three tiers provided the stable base for the cake by creating four ‘corners’ and was made of 12 cakes in total.”

Fiona previously opened up about working with the royals, telling Town & Country that Princess Kate was clear in her instructions and “lovely.”

“In many ways, I would say that Kate designed her wedding cake, because she knew very clearly what she wanted and did not want. The ideas came from her, we had meetings with her, and the brief was from Kate,” Fiona said. “She put us absolutely at ease, she’s as natural and as lovely as we all see her in the media. It was a wonderful process.”

Kate and William wedding photo leaving Westminster Abbey© Getty
The Prince and Princess of Wales got married in 2011

Aside from the traditional cake, Prince William threw out the rulebook and requested a second, sentimental confection. Growing up enjoying afternoon treats with his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, William developed a taste for chocolate biscuit cake.

When it came to organising his royal wedding, the Prince of Wales wanted a reminder of his childhood. He turned to master chocolatier Barry Colenso, in partnership with The McVitie’s Cake Company, to put together the decadent dessert – a three-tier, square Tiffin cake finished with chocolate leaves.

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