One royal wedding detail that isn't usually revealed before the nuptials? The wedding menu. Traditionally, royal brides and grooms hold a post-ceremony brunch (Queen Elizabeth is the typical host!) followed by an evening reception—and sometimes even another celebration the next day!
Below, we've uncovered the details and dishes of royal wedding menus throughout the years—from Queen Elizabeth's to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's! Read through to satisfy your craving for more royal wedding details.
Prince Albert and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
In case anyone was unaware of their sovereignty status, when Prince Albert wed Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother, in 1923, they served dishes named after royal family members, according to Food & Wine. "Consommé á la Windsor" was their soup, "Suprèmes de Saumon Reine Mary" was a salmon dish, "Côtelettes d'Agneau Prince Albert" were lamb cutlets, and "Chapons á la Strathmore," Scottish-style capons. The couple ended the meal with "Fraises Duchesse Elizabeth" (a.k.a. strawberries and cream), which would later become a dessert staple at royal nuptials.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
Darren McGrady, former chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Diana, William, and Harry, reports that at the Queen's 1947 wedding breakfast (that's the traditional mid-morning or afternoon reception to those across the pond), "Filet de Sole Mountbatten" was served alongside a French casserole. For dessert, the Queen and Prince Philip dined on "Bombe Glacée Princesse Elizabeth"—an ice cream dish made with strawberries that were out of season for their November nuptials—but the Queen gets what she wants! A fruit cake (another tradition when it comes to British royal weddings) was also served.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer
In keeping with the tradition of royal weddings past, the dishes at Princess Diana's lavish affair also bore the names of royal family members. According to the menu obtained by Huffington Post, "Supreme de Volaille Princess de Galles" (or "Princess of Wales chicken supreme") was the main course, consisting of a chicken breast stuffed with lamb mousse. Strawberries and cream were also offered, followed by 27 (yes, 27) wedding cakes, with the official confection being a five-foot-tall fruitcake cake that featured the prince's coat of arms, Diana's family crest, an ornamental "C" and "D," and a flourish of flowers.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
Love Food reports that this royal couple's menu included the now-late Queen Mother's favorite dish: Eggs Drumkilbo, a starter plate consisting of hard-boiled eggs with lobster and seafood sauce. Following that came lamb with mint sauce and new potatoes. The meal was finished with the standard strawberries with clotted cream, and the staggering tiered wedding cake, seen above.
Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones
Speaking with former royal chef Darren McGrady, CTV News reports that Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones bucked tradition at their 1999 royal wedding, offering a buffet style meal instead of a formal sit-down dinner. However, Queen Elizabeth arranged for a sit-down meal for herself, Prince Philip, and the Queen Mother. (You wouldn't expect the Queen to wait in a buffet line, would you?)
Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince Willam and Kate Middleton's menu card from their 2011 royal wedding hit the auction circuit in 2015, revealing for the first time just what the royal couple and their guests dined on during the big day. Following their wedding breakfast of canapés, the pair's evening reception offered dishes featuring U.K.-sourced ingredients. The starter course included marinated South Uist salmon and Lyme Bay crab. The main course, Saddle of North Highland Mey Select organic lamb, was served with Highgrove spring vegetables, English asparagus, Jersey Royal potatoes, and sauce Windsor. And for dessert, the couple enjoyed a trio of Berkshire honey ice cream.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
While it was rumored that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s menu would incorporate some American fare, their lunchtime reception featured a selection of dishes reminiscent of royal wedding meals past. According to the royal family website, guests were served a number of canapés, including a poached free-range chicken in a lightly spiced yogurt with roasted apricot, croquette of confit Windsor lamb with roasted vegetables and shallot jam, and grilled english asparagus wrapped in Cumbrian ham.
Guests were also served a selection of bowl foods like roasted pork belly, a chicken dish, and a pea and mint risotto. For dessert, the highly anticipated lemon elderflower wedding cake by pastry chef Claire Ptak was served with some sweet canapés including champagne and pistachio macaroons, orange crème brûlée tartlets, and miniature rhubarb crumble tartlets.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank will have a traditional post-ceremony brunch, just like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but with one big difference: More mouths to feed! The couple has reportedly invited 250 more wedding guests than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Providing catering for that many guests is bound to get expensive. Hamish Shephard, founder of British wedding planning website Bridebook, estimates that Eugenie's family will be shelling out £100,000 to £151,600 (between $130,000 and $197,000) on high-end catering.
Following the evening reception at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, the couple is reportedly throwing another party the following day—which means, yes, more food will be served. "After the more formal celebration [of Eugenie’s wedding] at Windsor Castle on Friday, the Saturday bash will be a relaxed party," a source told The Times. "There will be dodgems and funfair rides, coconut shies, lots of food stalls, loads of cocktails, bloody Marys for the hangovers and a festival vibe."