wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is still months away, we’ve already begun to speculate about the wedding, from exact date (still unknown) to what Markle’s dress will look like. Right now, we only have clues from past royal weddings to go off, most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton. But long before the heir to the throne and the Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot, nearly a century of toasts, wedding breakfasts, and cakes give us more than enough hints to the way the Windsor family (and up to several hundred of their closest friends) will mark the big day as far as the food goes.
Ahead, five of our predictions for the food and drink we can expect to see at the nuptials, whenever they might happen.
Photo: Pool/AP Photo.
Cake, Of Course Not surprisingly, there will almost certainly be a cake (or two) at the wedding. At Will and Kate’s wedding there were two: a traditional fruitcake with white icing and a second chocolate one made with a favorite snack of Will’s, a chocolate cake based on a favorite afternoon tea cake of William’s. Made with McVities rich tea biscuits, the three-tier cake was the creation of Barry Colenso, a master chocolatier. This also wasn’t the first time Colenso has made a cake for the royal family — he also has made cakes for Queen Elizabeth and the queen mum in the past. Given the family’s enjoyment of Colenso’s creations, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him involved again for Prince Harry’s wedding. McVities has also been involved in royal weddings in the past — they provided the official wedding cake for Queen Elizabeth’s 1947 wedding. Britain was still affected by post-war rationing and some ingredients were donated, including several boxes worth from the Girl Guides of Australia. Nevertheless, there were 11 other cakes present at the reception, bringing the total count to 12. Sound like a lot? That's nothing compared to the 27 that were at Prince Charles' wedding.
Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Getty Images.
Breakfast Reception While we don't know whether the happy couple's cake choices will tend towards a few or a few dozen, there is one thing we almost know for certain: The reception will be a breakfast. Or at least that's how its been for nearly ever royal wedding in the past century, from Harry's great-grandfather, King George VI, to Will and Kate. But there probably won't be bacon and eggs. Much more lavish, royal breakfasts have typically included lobster, lamb, and lots of Champagne. Just how many people will attend the reception is also not necessarily determined by the guest list: at Will and Kate's wedding, 650 people were in attendance, only a portion of those who went to the actual wedding itself at Westminster Abbey. That's actually fewer than attended the reception for Prince Charles or Queen Elizabeth, perhaps because a (relatively smaller) evening dinner of 300 followed for their nearest and dearest.
Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images.
British Tradition The wedding is a state event. That means that every detail must be considered not only from the perspective of tradition and personal taste but also what it represents to the public. As members of the royal family, that means celebrating all things British, including the food. At Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding, both the reception and evening dinner included local food from all over the British isles, including crab from Wales, lamb from Gloucestershire, and Scottish langoustines. In addition to ingredients, the menu itself will likely be very English: Will and Kate's included mini Yorkshire puddings and a traditional " humble" chipolata sausage .
Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images.
Personal Touches But while the happy couple will likely be tied to tradition and expectations, there is also room for them to add their own personal touches. The most recent wedding reception was actually a lot more laid-back that in generations past, with people shocked that the breakfast reception included passed canápes rather than a formal, seated dinner. Prince William's wedding cake was based on a childhood favorite. His wedding also included an after party that saw the Throne Room turned into a night club, something that would have been unthinkable a few generations prior. The afterparty included bacon sandwiches at 2 a.m. for exhausted partiers, something we might expect to see again.
Photo: Express Newspapers/Getty Images.
And Plenty Of Champange And barring something really drastic, we can expect Champagne to flow at Harry and Meghan's various receptions and parties. There is typically an official Champagne for royal weddings, though the honor has changed over the years. Both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles served Bollinger for their weddings, a Champagne for which Queen Victoria issued a royal warrant in 1884. The Champagne poured at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding also had a unique history: Pol Roger was a favorite of Winston Churchill and currently holds a royal warrant from Queen Elizabeth for supplying Champagne to the royal family. There are currently eight Champagne houses with a royal warrant, meaning the newly engaged couple will have several hard choices to make for their wedding day.