German Kaiser (Emperor)
Menu dated 27th February 1906
Luncheon at the State Palace (the Stadtschloss), Berlin, to mark the Silver Wedding Anniversary of Their Imperial and Royal Majesties Kaiser Wilhelm II and Kaiserin Augusta-Viktoria of Germany to coincide with the royal wedding of their second son, His Royal Highness Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia to Her Highness Princess Sophie-Charlotte of Oldenburg.
The silver wedding anniversary of the Emperor and Empress was turned into a double wedding celebration when they gave their second son, Prince Eitel Friedrich, permission to be married on the same day.
Their son’s bride, the Duchess Sophie-Charlotte, was the daughter of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Oldenburg. Only one day earlier, Sophie had arrived at the Brandenburg Gate and entered Berlin in the family’s royal carriage drawn by eight horses and accompanied by her grandmother, Princess Friedrich, as her mother had died a decade earlier.
A cavalry of trumpeters led the royal carriage as it made its way past crowds, who had taken every vantage point along the tree-lined Unter den Linden, to the royal palace where a 72 gun salute welcomed the next member of the imperial family.
On the following day (the date of this menu), 500 guests assembled in the royal chapel where Princess Sophie entered on the arm of Prince Eitel for the wedding ceremony that started at exactly 5pm. She was dressed in pearl white silk and ‘the train of the bride, which was four yards in length, was embroidered with silver roses’, reported the New York Times.
The Empress then placed a crown, made of green velvet and diamonds, along with a wreath of fresh myrtle upon the head of the bride – the royal menu is designed to match. As the rings were exchanged a 36 gun salute boomed over Berlin and the bells of the royal chapel similarly rang out: Sophie was now a wife, a Princess of Prussia and a member of the imperial family.
After the ceremony guests took their place in the palace’s White Hall in readiness for this ten course imperial wedding banquet. The menu, trimmed and highlighted with gold-leaf, was especially designed by the royal lithographer for the double wedding celebration.
The intertwined letters of W, A and V represent the Emperor Wilhelm and the Empress Augusta-Viktoria; while the years 1881 and 1906 celebrate their 25 years of marriage. Beneath the imperial crown appears the royal crown of Prussia which sits atop the royal arms of Prussia and Oldenburg from the family houses of Prince Eitel and his new wife Princess Sophie.
From the private Royal Menu Collection of © Jake Smith
Chicken consommé garnished with sautéed asparagus tips,
chervil leaves and chicken quenelles (dumplings)
Fillets of Turbot steamed in milk, arranged with crayfish tails and coated with a truffle sauce.
Lammrücken auf Ungarische Art
Shoulder of lamb garnished with cauliflower florets that have been coated in a paprika flavoured Mornay Sauce which are then arranged in fried duchess potato cases made from puréed potato mixed with egg yolks.
Auflauf nach Richelieu
Turned-out ramekins consisting of a mixture of chicken forcemeat and ‘salpicon a la rein’ made from diced chicken breast, mushrooms and truffles bound in a white sauce. The dish in then decorated with sliced truffles and coated in a Perigueux sauce made from Madeira and truffles.
Parfait von Gänseleber
Foie Gras mousse made from puréed force-fed goose livers, cream, aspic jelly and chicken velouté sauce. The dish is served as a free-standing dome with the mousse encased
in aspic-jelly that has been set with decorations of sliced truffles, shaped slivers of egg-white and tarragon leaves.
Fasanan, Fruchte, Salat
Roast pheasant served in full plumage with poached fruits and salad.
Fried artichoke bottoms
A dome shaped dessert consisting of Genoa cake soaked in Curacao covered with ricotta cheese, flaked chocolate, crystallised fruits and sugar syrup which is then encased in a layer of chocolate.
Eitel Friedrich with his bride Princess Sophie Charlotte were given permission to marry at a ceremony and banquet to be held jointly with the Silver Wedding Anniversary of the groom's parents, the Emperor and Empress.
Portrait of the German Imperial Family at the time of the Silver Wedding Anniversary