In 2011, Fiona Cairns was privileged to be asked to create the Royal wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The cake was designed to a clear brief: it was not to be ostentatious or grand, but romantic and informal in its structure. Firstly, the cake featured 17 flowers, chosen by the Duchess, which all have different meanings; for example, Lily of the Valley symbolises sweetness and humility. The four national flowers also feature on the cake; the Rose to symbolise England, the Daffodil for Wales, Thistle for Scotland and the Shamrock for Ireland. We loosely interpreted the Joseph Lambeth technique to create the piped details on the cake- such as the lattice, scroll and shell details. Lace details from the Duchess’s dress were also piped onto the cake.
Designing and constructing the cake was a real architectural project. It was over 1 metre tall and weighed 100kg. The bottom three tiers provided the stable base for the cake by creating 4 ‘corners’ and was made of twelve cakes. They were given a room above the kitchens in Buckingham Palace to assemble the cakes. It took a team of 6 people three days to complete.
After the wedding , the cake was reassembled and dis played at the Buckingham Palace Summer Exhibition between July and October 2011, along with the dress. As is tradition, the couple kept the top tiers of the wedding cake.
Info and images from: Fiona Cairns