King of Great Britain
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Tortue à l’Anglaise
Turtle Soup, flamed at the table, and served with quenelles shaped into life-size turtle eggs
Purée de Volaille à la Reine
Puréed chicken soup garnished with shredded chicken cooked in court-bouillon and diced Royale (a savoury custard made from egg, chervil and chicken consommé)
Turbot, Sauce Homard
Baked turbot dressed in a lobster sauce
Filets de Saumon, Sauce Tartare
Salmon fillets with Tartare sauce
Côtelettes de Mouton Purée de Marron
Grilled mutton cutlets with puréed chestnuts
Supréme de Perdreaux
Breast of partridge dressed in a Supréme sauce made from reduced stock and cream
Truffled turkey made from roasting the bird with slices of truffles inserted between the breast and skin.
Cimier de Venaison
Saddle of Venison (specifically a stag when the term ‘cimier’ is used)
Aloyau de Bœuf rôti
Roast sirloin of beef
Chicorée à la Crême
Savarin à l’Orange
Rum-baba steeped in an orange and Cognac syrup
Gelée de Champagne aux Fruits
Champagne jelly and fruits
Glace à la Napolitaine
Menu dated 8th January 1885
Dinner at Sandringham hosted by Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales (the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra) for the 21st birthday - the coming of age - of their eldest son, His Royal Highness Prince Albert Victor of Wales (the future Duke of Clarence and Avondale)
Prince Albert Victor was destined to become King; but influenza would take his life and ensure the throne went to his younger brother, the future King George V.
But there was not a hint of this morbid princely fate as members of the royal family gathered at Sandringham for this grand dinner in January 1885. The dapper young prince, who was heir presumptive to the throne, was celebrating his 21st Birthday (coming of age) at a strictly private affair for members of the royal family.
Prince Albert Victor, known affectionately as “Prince Eddy”, was the eldest son of the future King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra and, as such, was destined to one day inherit the throne of Britian and its Empire. His twenty-first birthday, therefore, was an event attended by all the leading royals of Britain and eagerly covered in newspapers at the time.
The menu for this dinner was as lavish as it was extensive: bowls of turtle soup whet the appetite for dishes of partridge, wild-duck, pheasant, stag, turkey, salmon, oysters and turbot dressed in a lobster-champagne sauce.
Some of the offerings no doubt came courtesy of the crack-shooting of the ‘Birthday Prince’ who had spent the previous day at Sandringham with a shooting party consisting of his father the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII) along with his brother the Duke of York (future King George V); the Dukes of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Clarence; and the Princes of Saxe-Weimar and Leiningen.
A grand banquet required a grand dress-code and Prince Eddy’s mother, the Princess of Wales and future Queen, was not about to disappoint. In her red satin dress with immense train, “the Princess had a splendid tiara of diamonds”, reported one newspaper, “and diamonds in great profusion round her neck; she was in herself alone a royal spectacle”.
At this banquet Prince Eddy and his father the Prince of Wales and future King, were dressed in the uniform of Norfolk Artillery Militia and were the “perfection of dignity” reported the same newspaper.
This dinner took place at Sandringham, which was the chief and favourite residence of Prince Eddy’s parents the Prince and Princess of Wales, who hosted the birthday dinner. As such, the menu sports a blue-ribbon with his father's personal seal embossed on red-wax. The seal carries the “Prince of Wales Feathers” and the motto “Ich Dein” (I serve); and to either side are embossed the letters “A” and “E” for the Prince of Wales’ name: Albert Edward.
The menu card is highlighted in gold-leaf; carries a photo of the young Prince; and is decorated with a monogram comprised of the initials of Prince Eddy's full name: Albert Victor Christian Edward.
Prince Eddy would die seven years after this dinner with his death, as the heir presumptive, throwing the royal family into turmoil.
Prince Albert Victor ("Prince Eddy") aged 12 with his mother the Princess of Wales (the future Queen Alexandra) and his younger brother Prince George (the future King George V)