10 Lessons I’ve Learned From Wedding Cakes With Pearls And Diamonds | Wedding Cakes With Pearls And Diamonds

Each Tuesday in April, Vanity Fair will beam aback to a altered British aristocratic bells in the lead-up to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 nuptials.

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Some brides ability adapt a wedding-day adversity to be a bad augury for their marriage. But aback Queen Elizabeth’s “something borrowed”—her grandmother’s diamond-spiked tiara—snapped hours afore she absolved bottomward the alley in November 1947, the approaching autocrat played it cool. The act of calmness was all the added absorbing because the 21-year-old was to be affiliated in advanced of 2,000 guests—ten of whom were kings and queens—in a commemoration advertisement by BBC radio to 200 actor bodies above six continents. Because she was the aboriginal British aristocratic to address her bells to the world, the then-princess would accept been forgiven for accepting frayed nerves.

Elizabeth’s adornment had allegorical and claimed significance: because attitude dictates that alone affiliated women abrasion the aerial crowns, the bells would mark the aboriginal break for which the 21-year-old wore a tiara. And this accurate tiara—now broken—had belonged to Elizabeth’s grandmother Queen Mary, and was complete from chunk that Queen Victoria gave Mary in 1893 as a bells gift.

Though Elizabeth’s mother appropriate the helpmate artlessly bandy out tiaras, the angel would not accept it. With aloof two hours until the bells was to begin, a cloister jeweler—on standby—rushed the adornment to his branch so that it could be agilely welded. Although the emergency adornment anaplasty was mostly successful, affirmation of the adjustment is apparent in wedding-day photos, which appearance a above gap amid the centerpiece and design fasten to its right.

With adornment in place, all was not yet bland sailing for the bride: she additionally accomplished that morning that she had larboard an aged two-strand fair necklace—given to her by her parents as a bells gift—at St. James Place, area over 2,500 bells ability beatific to her and her benedict Prince Philip, from about the world, were displayed. (Relatable!) Elizabeth’s clandestine secretary was accomplished to retrieve the necklace—commandeering the King of Norway’s car in the process. But because cartage was so bad due to the pooling crowds, the secretary was affected to bound out of the car and accomplish the adventure by foot. A third adversity was almost absent that morning—the conjugal affair anticipation that Elizabeth’s white-orchid boutonniere (with a bough of myrtle in a nod to Queen Victoria) had gone missing, alone to ascertain that a afraid footman had placed it in an icebox to bottle the flowers.

Elizabeth had acclimatized on a decadent, cream-colored amazon glassy clothes from cloister artist Sir Hartnell that, like all aristocratic clothing, was steeped in symbolism—the 25 needlewomen and 10 embroiderers alive on it (who had all active acquaintance agreements) had anchored civic and Commonwealth floral emblems in gold and argent thread, berry pearls, sequins, and crystals. During the two months it took to actualize the gown, Hartnell added his own abstruse flourish—a four-leaf shamrock on the skirt, so that Elizabeth could blow her duke on the shamrock for luck. Because of post-World War II acerbity measures, Elizabeth paid for her clothes with allowance coupons—200 of which she got as a supplement from the government. Philip, who a day beforehand had been accustomed the appellation of “His Aristocratic Highness” by his approaching father-in-law, artlessly wore his argosy uniform.

Unlike Queen Victoria, Elizabeth appeared to be a bit added adequate with the affectation and accident of a aristocratic wedding—and was transported to Westminster Abbey in the Irish State Coach alongside her ancestor King George VI, bouncing to adherent crowds, as bells guests scurried into abode central Westminster Abbey and accessible the bride. Reporters declared how Winston Churchill and his wife, backward in arriving, acquired a bouncing apocryphal anxiety through the axis aback the doors swung accessible alone to acknowledge the above prime minister. (During the ceremony, Churchill acquired addition activity aback he stood mid-ceremony to put on his coat.)

Anticipation was so aerial that aback roars erupted alfresco Westminster Abbey, signaling Elizabeth’s arrival, the guests went silent. The bride’s amazing accession was declared by a anchorman on the scene:

“It was an access of ball and adorableness that no Hollywood fantasia could according as King George, in argosy uniform, and Angel Elizabeth, in her admirable white and gold bells gown, stood affected in the doorway,” wrote The New York Times.

“A alarum of trumpets breach the silence, Westminster’s choir sang ‘Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven,’ and abaft a array of Abbey admiral Elizabeth came up the alley on her father’s arm,” wrote Time. “Her face looked fatigued and pale.

‘My, she looks nervous,’ gasped a adult in the nave.”

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Then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip beachcomber to the army from Buckingham Palace afterwards their bells on November 20, 1947.

The approaching Queen and Prince airing appear the west aperture of Westminster Abbey afterwards their vows.

Princess Elizabeth is photographed walking bottomward the alley at Westminster Abbey, followed by her bridesmaids.

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Chief confectioner at McVitie & Price, Ltd., Mr. Schur puts the final touches on the aristocratic cake.

Newlyweds Elizabeth and Philip arch to Buckingham Palace appropriate afterwards their nuptials.

The brace affectation with ancestors associates as able-bodied as European nobles afterwards their wedding.

The blessed brace is showered with rose petals as they leave Buckingham Palace for their honeymoon.

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Then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip beachcomber to the army from Buckingham Palace afterwards their bells on November 20, 1947.

From Fox Photos/Getty Images.

The approaching Queen and Prince airing appear the west aperture of Westminster Abbey afterwards their vows.

From PA Images/Getty Images.

Princess Elizabeth is photographed walking bottomward the alley at Westminster Abbey, followed by her bridesmaids.

By Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Chief confectioner at McVitie & Price, Ltd., Mr. Schur puts the final touches on the aristocratic cake.

By J.A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

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Winston Churchill and his wife, Clementine, photographed accessory Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s bells at Westminster Abbey in 1947.

By Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip leave Westminster Abbey as bedmate and wife.

From PA Images/Getty Images.

Newlyweds Elizabeth and Philip arch to Buckingham Palace appropriate afterwards their nuptials.

From AFP/Getty Images.

The brace affectation with ancestors associates as able-bodied as European nobles afterwards their wedding.

From British Combine/The LIFE Account Collection/Getty Images.

The blessed brace is showered with rose petals as they leave Buckingham Palace for their honeymoon.

From Keystone/Getty Images.

About a hundred years earlier, aback Queen Victoria affiliated Prince Albert, the brace did not accept photography to abduction the milestone—and the apple had to delay canicule afore seeing rendered portraits of the helpmate and groom. But aback it came to Queen Elizabeth’s wedding, because of radio technology, her vows were bigger heard by those bright above the apple than those built-in at the aback of the Abbey—including the somewhat arguable affiance she fabricated “to love, to cherish, and to obey” her husband, alike admitting it was she who was in band for the throne.

King George is said to accept told the Archbishop who affiliated Elizabeth and Philip, “It is a far added affective affair to accord your babe away than to be affiliated yourself.”

Though it was an break of massive all-embracing and actual significance—larger than either the helpmate or groom—reporters acclaimed a few touchingly animal moments in the ceremony: Prince Philip and his best man, the Marquess of Milford Haven, were so apathetic in abrogation for the Abbey that the benedict was overheard saying, “Bad show, we’re a bit late.” King George, acquainted that his daughter’s alternation had bent on the accomplish of the Abbey, adapted the dress himself. Elizabeth’s mother, the about consistently animated Queen Mum, “dart[ed] afraid glances at her daughter” throughout the vows. Aback she noticed Philip attractive “uncertain and alarmed, she flashed him a warm, abating smile.” Angel Margaret, meanwhile, in a abundantly blue agenda accustomed her own adulation life, looked “lovely and still in ivory loneness at the centermost of the sacrarium.” Underneath a account of the conjugal affair appear that month, Time amusingly acclaimed that “present at the breakfast, but not apparent in the account was the 13-year-old Duke of Kent, who, for boyish affidavit of his own, banned to heed his uncle’s appeal to accompany the group.”

Other absorbing facts about the wedding, below:

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Wedding Breakfast

A bells breakfast—served at lunchtime afterward the ceremony—was served at Buckingham Palace, featuring Filet de Sole Mountbatten, Perdreau en Casserole, and Bombe Glacée Angel Elizabeth. The “austerity” menu, according to Elizabeth biographer Sally Bedell Smith, “was served on plates of argent bizarre by footmen in scarlet livery.” Guests were accustomed posies of myrtle and white Balmoral heather.

The Cake

The capital nine-foot-high block had four tiers; was fabricated from capacity from all over the world; and was busy with the accoutrements of both families. It was cut application the Duke’s Mountbatten sword, which was a bells present from the King.

Absentees

While Philip’s mother abounding the wedding, the groom’s three sisters—who had affiliated German men who were anticipation to accept Nazi ties—were not invited. Elizabeth’s uncle, the above King Edward VIII, who had abdicated the throne, was additionally acutely missing.

The Gifts

Philip gave his helpmate a design armlet he advised himself and vowed to abdicate smoking. The brace accustomed about 10,000 telegrams of congratulations as able-bodied as over 2,500 presents from about the world—including a allotment of affection applique from Mahatma Gandhi that he spun himself and abstract with the words “Jai Hind” (Victory for India); a Singer bed-making machine; and a refrigerator. Queen Mary gave the brace a appliance while Angel Margaret able them a barbecue case. The brace additionally accustomed a racehorse; a hunting abode in Kenya; a television set; a 22-carat-gold coffee service; a 54.5-carat uncut blush design (from a Canadian tycoon); a cape coat; attenuate pieces of clear and china; and a vase.

Honeymoon

Because of post-war austerity, the brace did not absorb their amusement abroad, but breach amid two locations with acceptation for both families: Broadlands, Hampshire, the home of Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten, and Birkhall at the aristocratic family’s Balmoral acreage in Scotland. The brace were accompanied on both legs of the amusement by a guest: Elizabeth’s admired corgi, Susan.

A Sweet Postscript From the King

Rather than accord a continued accent at his daughter’s bells breakfast, King George VI beatific Elizabeth a letter anon afterwards her bells which read, in part, “I was so beholden of you and captivated at accepting you so abutting to me on your continued airing in Westminster Abbey, but aback I handed your duke to the Archbishop I acquainted that I had absent article actual precious. You were so calm & composed during the Service & said your words with such conviction, that I knew aggregate was all right.” Elizabeth, in turn, beatific her parents beholden notes, one of which read, “I alone achievement that I can accompany up my accouchement in the blessed atmosphere of adulation and candor which Margaret and I accept developed up in.”

Previous royal-wedding flashback: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s 1840 nuptials

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A account overview of the babble from Kensington Palace and beyond.

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