Have you seen the 1998 episode of "Seinfeld" where Elaine unknowingly eats a 60-year old slice of cake from the wedding of King Edward VIII to Wallis Simpson valued at $30,000?
The storyline was pure Seinfeld comedy, but the reality of a 60-year old piece of mummified royal wedding cake as a prized keepsake is quite true.
No longer the “rulers” of the British Empire, today’s royal family has been reduced to a ceremonial role. They hold court at tennis matches, christenings, funerals, anniversaries and weddings. So it is no surprise that items of memorabilia from a monarch’s wedding ceremony can have great appeal among her majesty’s subjects. Today, we have five examples:
1). King Edward VIII
In 1998, Sotheby’s did auction-off an extremely old slice of cake for $30,000. It was wrapped up in a box with the words "A PIECE OF OUR WEDDING CAKE W.E." This was from the 1937 marriage of King Edward VIII (“E”) to the divorced (and American commoner) Mrs. Wallis Simpson (“W”). Edward’s relationship with Wallis drove him to abdicate the throne for the woman he loved. It is this love story that enhances the value of anything associated with their marriage—especially something as personal as a slice taken from their wedding cake.
2). Queen Victoria
In 1974, a 133-year old piece of Queen Victoria’s wedding cake was sold by Christie’s auction house for about $150. The crumbling cake fragments were still in the original box with the printed label “Queen’s Bridal Cake, Buckingham Palace, Feb. 10, 1840.”
Mumified fragments from Queen Victoria's Cake
3). Princess Diana
A slice of Princess Diana's wedding cake, which was kept for 27 years in a former servant's attic, was sold at auction in 2008 for about $1,830. Reportedly, the nine-inch square piece of cake was given to cleaner Moyra Smith in 1981 when she worked for the Queen Mother.
4). William and Kate
A slice of Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal Wedding Cake was sold at about $1,375 in 2012.
5). Queen Elizabeth
And currently, a piece of Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding cake—dating back to 1947, is on the auction block. The cake is enclosed in its original box, labeled "EP Buckingham Palace 20th November 1947," and is accompanied by a slip that reads, "With the best wishes of Their Royal Highnesses The Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh." The highest bid is currently £560 or $840.
It seems everything has its price, and every royal has its varying appeal—from $30,000 to $150.
Queen Elizabeth II's Wedding Cake
Cake image courtesy of Shutterstock