When an upcoming royal wedding is announced, it’s hard not to pay attention. All eyes are on the couple and every intricate detail they choose leading up to their wedding day. From the celebrity guest list to the dress designer to the floral choices, royal weddings certainly command interest as the celebration is put together.
But perhaps one of the biggest statement-makers on a royal wedding day is the royal wedding cake. And no matter if it’s a British royal wedding or another high-ranking royal couple tying the knot, there’s one cake tradition that remains the same. Whether it’s finished with royal icing, fondant, or buttercream frosting, each royal wedding cake is still as complex and detailed as can be, with incredible design elements often incorporating meaningful sentiment for the couple, the royal family, and beyond.
Curious what some of these elaborate cakes have looked like? Read on for 12 of the most jaw-dropping royal wedding cakes. You may even find elements of design to inspire your own wedding cake along the way!
Kate Middleton and Prince William
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opted for a cake with a bit more modest height in comparison to previous royal wedding cakes, the couple still went all out with their cake design. The three-foot-tall cake was made up of eight tiers of traditional fruit cake, and the confection featured more than 900 handcrafted details, including the couple’s monogram, along with a huge variety of flowers and leaves. The pure white design made an incredible statement on display in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace.
Meaghan Markle and Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Meaghan Markle’s wedding day blended royal tradition with a bit of unique flair, and their wedding cake certainly followed suit. The couple chose a romantic display of two single-tiered cakes, along with one two-tiered cake, leaving the tradition of astonishing tall cakes to the wayside. The lemon and elderflower cake was finished with Swiss meringue buttercream and decorated with 150 fresh flowers, including British peonies and roses.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
With an autumn wedding date, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s cake was certainly designed for the season. The couple opted to switch up traditional British fruit cake and served red velvet cake instead for their wedding in 2018. And while the size was on par with that of cake you might find at any large wedding, the detailing was anything but typical. The five-tier confection was covered in fondant and decorated with hundreds of handmade sugar ivy pieces and leaves to embrace the autumn celebration.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
When Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip tied the knot in 1947, the royal couple’s wedding cake was nothing short of magnificent. Weighing in at 500 pounds, the confection towered high at nine feet tall. The traditional fruit cake, covered in marzipan and topped with royal icing, featured intricate designs commemorating scenes from their lives together, along with the armorial bearings.
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson
The parents of Princess Eugenie celebrated their nuptials in 1986 with an equally astonishing royal wedding cake. Another couple following tradition, the rum-soaked fruit cake towered high at five-and-a-half feet tall. Each tier was stacked with pillars in between, with intricate detailing completing the gorgeous design.
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer
Following British royal wedding fashion, Prince Charles and Lady Di made a show-stopping statement with their wedding cake in 1981. The couple opted for 27 wedding cakes for their celebration, but the official cake was a five-foot-tall traditional fruit cake, featuring the royal coat of arms. A beautiful arrangement of lily of the valley, orchids, and roses completed the beautiful design.
Princess Victoria of Sweden and Daniel Westling
This Swedish royal couple exchanged their vows and said "I do" in June 2010, celebrating with an incredibly unique cake. The confection stood tall with 11 tiers, each decked out with chocolate wafers and a hand-drawn monogram done with caramel. But the most unique aspect of this cake? The shape. Each of the 11 tiers was made in the shape of a four-leaf clover in varying sizes.
Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock
This stunning royal wedding held in 2011 was made complete with the most astonishing cake. Truly towering over the couple, the light pink-hued, six-tier cake featured a cornucopia at the top with plenty of florals adorning each tier. King Protea was incorporated to commemorate Charlene Wittstock’s South African roots.
Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly was the epitome of class and style, and the confection on display at her wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956 certainly followed suit. The six-tier cake stood tall with intricate sugar detailing mimicking the Prince’s Palace, and two turtledoves were released from the top two tiers during the ceremonial cutting of the cake. Talk about a fairytale wedding!
Princess Marina of Greece and Prince George, Duke of Kent
It’s typical for an intricate royal wedding cake to incorporate pillars, great height, and plenty of fresh flowers. And when Princess Marina of Greece and Prince George, Duke of Kent, got married in 1934, their towering cake certainly incorporated each of these elements. The nine-foot-tall confection featured four tiers of cake, each separated with Greek-inspired pillars and decked out with a beautiful floral garland draped over the entire cake.
King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II and Queen Sylvia of Buganda
In 1999, the first Bugandan wedding in 50 years was held when King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II married Sylvia Nagginda Luswata. The couple’s wedding cake stood tall with six tiers separated by ornate pillars, with the entire cake embellished with gold detailing. For the hundreds of guests in attendance, multiple sheet cakes covered the cake table with equally intricate designs.
Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston
Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston’s 2019 wedding was the third royal wedding in a year and displayed another beautiful cake. Fiona Cairns, who also made Kate Middleton and Prince William’s cake, put together a beautiful confection made up of eight tiers of cake featuring fruit cake, limoncello sponge, and Victoria sponge. The cake featured intricate details to match the lace of Lady Gabriella’s wedding dress, along with sugar flowers cascading down the pale pink cake.