Today is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's platinum wedding anniversary, which means they've been married an astonishing 70 years. Former Royal Chef Darren McGrady celebrated by teasing some behind-the-scenes information about the royal couple's wedding menu on Twitter.
"The Queen and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage together tomorrow," he wrote. "Why did The Queen choose out of season strawberries for the wedding breakfast? I know."
The Queen and Prince Philip celebrate 70 years of marriage together tomorrow. Why did The Queen choose out of season strawberries for the wedding breakfast ? I know— The Royal Chef (@DarrenMcGrady) November 19, 2017
McGrady posted a copy of the menu for the royal "wedding breakfast" served at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, November 20, 1947. (The wedding meal was called a "breakfast" in the U.K., even when it's served in the late afternoon and does not involve breakfast foods. It still is, in some circles.)
The country was still under rationing in 1947, but the wedding menu was still quite luxurious. The meal started with Filet de Sole Mountbatten, followed by partridges in casserole with salad, green beans, and pommes noisette. Partridges were not subject to rationing during World War II, and pommes noisette are puréed potatoes made into little balls and then fried so they're crispy and golden-brown (like fancy tater tots).
Then came the sweet course, with the mysterious strawberries. The couple served an ice cream dish called Bombe Glacée Princess Elizabeth, which was the most luxurious item on the menu because it used fresh strawberries at the end of November.
"The 'luxury' at the wedding was to have fresh strawberries on the menu grown in hot houses at Windsor Castle," McGrady explained.
The dish was named after the then-Princess Elizabeth, because it's common practice at a British royal wedding for the chef to name a dish after the new bride, chef McGrady told the National Post.
McGrady points out that the menu includes a "Déssert" course after the luxurious ice cream. The sweet course would have been called a "pudding," and a "dessert" course at Buckingham Palace is always just fresh fruit, McGrady says.
The menu ends with the initials E and P, for Elizabeth and Philip. Turning the couple's initials into a couple's monogram or "wedding logo" is a big trend in modern weddings. It looks like all those couples are in pretty good company.
Of course, the future Queen of England also had a truly impressive wedding cake. It was a four-tier fruit cake that was nine feet tall and weighed over 500 pounds, and it was intricately piped all over in royal icing. It was cut using a sword the king had given the new Duke of Edinburgh. Queen Elizabeth probably doesn't have the top tier of the 70-year-old in her ice box, but she will still be able to celebrate her platinum anniversary with the same cake. Brides reports that chefs at Le Cordon Bleu made an exact reproduction of her monumental cake last month, and they sent the top tier to the Queen as an anniversary gift.