Queen of the United Kingdom
Menu dated: 23rd July 1885
Royal Wedding Breakfast at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, hosted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria for the wedding of her youngest daughter, Her Royal Highness the Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom to His Serene Highness Prince Henry Maurice of Battenberg.
This stunning twenty course 1885 menu is from the Royal Wedding Breakfast (that took place in the afternoon) hosted by Queen Victoria for the marriage of her youngest daughter and closest confidant, Princess Beatrice.
The menu features one of the most prized and delectable of all game birds, roast Ortolans: a tiny yellow song bird, eaten whole, weighing no more than thirty grams in the wild.
The royal banquet - served under silk-marquees on the lawns of Queen Victoria’s favorite residence Osborne House on the Isle of Wight – concluded with a three-tiered wedding cake resembling the ornately designed menu cards that had been placed at each table setting. Even the orange-blossom that wraps around the lattice design on the menu-card matched the flowers in the royal bride’s hair and wedding dress.
On the left of the menu card are the royal shield, name and military symbols of the bridegroom, Prince Henry of Battenberg; while on the right of the menu are the royal shield, name and artistic symbols of the bride, Princess Beatrice.
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Les Quenelles au Consommé
Chicken consommé with chicken dumplings
La Crême de Riz
Cream of rice soup made from veal stock, rice flour, vegetables and cream
Les Cotelettes d'Agneau à l'Italienne
Lamb cutlets served in a Italian sauce made from mushrooms, onion, ham and herbs
Les Filets de Poulets bigarrés aux Truffes
Sautéed chicken breasts garnished with sliced truffles
Les Anguilettes de Canetons aux Pois
Strips of duck breast cooked in white wine, onions, bacon and garden peas
Les Poulardes à la Jardiniere
Chickens casseroled in a veal stock with turnips, French beans and carrots
Le Filet de Bœuf braisé à la Gelée
Pressed filets of beef served cold wrapped in bacon and stewed in Madeira with onion and carrot
Les Salades à la Parisienne
A macédoine of vegetables, truffles and lobster meat tossed in mayonnaise and set in aspic jelly
Les Aspics de Faisans à la Belle-vue
A cold dish of pheasant breasts that have been double glazed firstly with a brown chaud-froid sauce and then with a layer of aspic.
Les Mayonnaises de Volaille
Chicken breasts tossed in mayonnaise with eggs and chives and served on a bed of lettuce and cucumber
Les Salades de Homards
Medallions of lobster meat tossed in vinaigrette
Les Ortolans and Les Poulets
Spit-roasted ortolans (a small yellow song bird, eaten whole, weighing just 30 grams in the wild) drizzled in a Port and seville sauce; and roast chickens
Les Puddings à la Diplomate
Puff-pastry tarts filled with crystallized fruits that are then glazed with apricot preserve, frosted and decorated with glacé cherries
Les Pois sautés au beurre & Les Epinards au velouté
Sautéed peas & Spinach cooked in a white veal stock
Les Gelées Mosaique
Sponge cakes filled with butter-cream that are then glazed with an apricot preserve, frosted and decorated with alternate lines of apricot and redcurrant jam
Les Crêmes à la D'Orleans
Sponge caked steeped in maraschino syrup and coated in a coffee cream
Les Gateaux Moka
Chocolate and coffee cake filled with coffee cream and toasted almonds and crystallized violets
Les Babas aux raisins
Cake made from leavened dough with raisins which is then steeped in rum and then decorated with glacé cherries
Les Meringues à la Chantilly
Meringues topped with vanilla cream
Les Gateaux Genoises au Chocolat
Sponge cake flavored with citrus, crystallized fruits and almonds and frosted with chocolate cream
Princess Beatrice on her wedding day in July 1885
The menu also features an illustration of Osborne House sitting under the personal “VRI” royal monogram of Queen Victoria as hostess of the lunch.
The wedding took place at one o’clock at the nearby Saint Mildred’s Church, in Whippingham, when the dapper bridegroom arrived attired in the white uniform of the Prussian Guard. Princess Beatrice, who was accompanied by no less than ten bridesmaids entered the chapel with her mother Queen Victoria on one side and her brother, the Prince of Wales (future King Edward VII), on the other.
The 1885 wedding cake for the marriage of Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg.
Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg on their wedding day, 23rd July 1885.