Menu dated: 6th July 1893
Royal Wedding Breakfast at Buckingham Palace hosted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria for the wedding of His Royal Highness the Duke of York (future King George V) to Her Serene Highness Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (future Queen Mary).
[The following text is taken from the book titled 'Eating with Emperors', by Jake Smith, and published by the Miegunyah Press - an imprint of Melbourne University Publishing Ltd].
The marriage of the future King and Queen of England was an event worthy of a seventeen course banquet hosted by none other than the groom’s grandmother, Queen Victoria herself.
Even on this day of joy and celebration the ageing Queen entered the Royal Chapel at Saint James’s Palace clutching an ebony walking stick and clad in her trademark gloomy black attire with a small diamond crown perched on her head.
Other guests such as the King and Queen of Denmark were far more cheerfully dressed, as was the Tsarevich of Russia who was looking particularly dapper in his red imperial officer’s uniform with a white pelisse (half-jacket) edged in ermine fur casually hanging from his shoulder.
The wedding ceremony itself got underway just after noon when the veiled bride, Princess Mary of Teck, entered the chapel dressed in silver brocade. The sparkly beam on her face was no doubt enhanced just a smidgen by the wedding gift she had just received from her soon to be mother-in-law: no less than $US1.25 million in jewellery and precious stones; and that was in 1898 dollar values.
This wedding was the product of a bizarre twist of fate. Princess Mary had originally been engaged to the groom’s older brother and heir to the throne, Prince Albert. However Albert died shortly before their wedding and it was only after a degree of meddling from Queen Victoria herself that Princess Mary agreed to marry her dead fiancé’s younger brother, and now heir to the throne, the Duke of York.
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Queen of the United Kingdom
Bernoise à la I'Imperatrice
Chicken consommé with cock's combs, cock's kidneys, rice and garden-peas garnished with shredded savory pancakes
Crême de Riz à la Polonaise
Creamed cauliflower and asparagus soup thickened with rice flour
Côtelette d'Agneau à l'Italienne
Braised lamb cutlets baked in an Italian sauce made from ham, mushroom and herbs and garnished with artichoke hearts
Aiguillettes de Canetons aux Pois
Strips of ducking (less than 2 months old) breast cooked in dry white wine with garden-peas, pearl-onions and bacon and served on a bed of lettuce
Filets de Bœuf à la Napolitiaine
Beef fillets served with macaroni tossed in seeded tomatoes and topped with grated cheese
Poulets gras au Cresson
Fattened chickens in a watercress cream
Mayonnaises de Volaille
Shredded chicken marinated in a chive vinaigrette and combined with mayonnaise and garnished with lettuce and cucumber
Jambons découpes à l'Aspic
Sliced cold ham in aspic jelly
Langues découpes à l'Aspic
Sliced cold tongue in aspic jelly
Roulardes de Veau
Thin slices of veal wrapped around a forcemeat stuffing and poached in white stock
Pains de Foies à la Gelée
A calf liver terrine set in aspic jelly
Gelées et Crêmes
Jellies and cream
Side table of Cold Roast Fowls
Lunch Guest: to soon to be deposed King Manuel II of Portugal
After the ceremony, the carriage carrying the newly wedded couple wound its way back to Buckingham Palace through an estimated crowd of two million. From there the entire Royal Family gathered on the balcony to deliver the traditional ‘royal wave’ to the cheering crowds who refused to disperse. It became quite an ordeal for Queen Victoria who ended up ordering a chair to be brought out on to the balcony so she could sit and fan herself as she beamed with regal pride. By 2.30 p.m. however, the royals were getting peckish and retreated inside for the Royal Wedding Breakfast.
The floral design on the menu has particular significance. The White Roses of York represent the Duke of York himself while the Hawthorn Blossom represents his bride, Princess Mary. Mary was affectionately known as ‘May’: the month when Hawthorn Blossom flowers. The wedding guests dined for nearly two hours before the newly married couple departed for Sandringham to commence their honeymoon.
The Wedding Cake for the marriage of the future King George V and Queen Mary.
The Royal Wedding of the future King George V and Queen Mary, 6 July 1893