A 40-year-old piece of Diana and Charles’ wedding cake will be auctioned off.
Next month, a piece of history will be auctioned off—albeit for a significant sum.
According to BBC News, a portion of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s official royal wedding cake will be auctioned by its owner after being preserved for decades.
According to BBC News, the huge slice of cake belonged to Moyra Smith, “a member of the Queen Mother’s household.” She reportedly covered the cake’s exquisite ornamentation, which featured the royal coat of arms, with plastic cling wrap at the time.
The dessert was maintained in Smith’s custody in a “old floral cake tin” with a handwritten label pinned to it. The label said, “Handle with Care – Prince Charles & Princess Diane’s [sic]Wedding Cake,” and was signed and dated July 27, 1981. (the wedding was on July 29).
Royal wedding cakes are not to be taken lightly. According to the royal family’s official website, they “will often be large enough to serve over 2,000 people, with pieces bundled up and delivered to charities and [organizations]close to them as well as served up to the guests in attendance.” They further mention that “royal wedding cakes have weighed anything from 300 pounds to over 500 pounds” and are generally ornately designed.
Fruitcake is commonly used by royals at their weddings, which may appear strange to modern tastes. It is, nevertheless, a tradition with unexpectedly practical foundations. Fruitcake is baked with alcohol, usually rum or brandy, which naturally preserves the cake for years, according to Food & Wine, making it the ideal choice in the pre-refrigerator age. Even today, the long-lasting qualities of fruitcake can be beneficial to bakers who must decorate highly elaborate royal confections for weeks, if not months.
While strange, the auction of a piece of Charles and Diana’s wedding cake is far from unusual—extended fruitcake’s shelf life enables for these portions to become collector’s goods years later. In recent years, pieces of Prince William and Kate’s wedding cake have been auctioned off, with a piece of Queen Victoria’s 19th-century wedding cake reportedly selling for £1,500 in 2016.
The slice from Diana and Charles’ wedding will be served for the second time. This is a condensed version of the information.