What Royal Couples' Wedding Cakes Say About Them: Expert

The Sussexes broke away from tradition.

Royal Wedding Comparisons - Wedding Cakes
(Image credit: Photo by Princess Diana Archive / Getty)

When it comes to the Royal Family, nothing is left up to chance.

This is perhaps especially true of their super lavish wedding ceremonies and receptions, including the always elaborate wedding cakes.

These confections are a representation of several things: the royal couple's status, their personal tastes, and the image they want to project to the world as man and wife.

Body language expert Darren Stanton thinks royal wedding cakes have a LOT to tell us about who the couples are, and he has kindly shared his observations with Marie Claire on behalf of Coffee Friend (opens in new tab).

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

"The cake for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was designed very differently to most traditional wedding cakes as it was flavored with lemon and elderflower and covered in buttercream, while also using flowers in the decoration," Stanton says.

"This modernity reflects the partnership Harry and Meghan share, as they have indeed broken the mold when it comes to royal couples and stepped away from the traditional way of doing things.

"There was also something quite reminiscent of spring, and of course they tied the knot in May.

"It was simple in design yet beautiful and again unique, so perhaps Meghan wanted to convey this through the wedding cake as well as what she chose for her wedding dress. It has a bold simplicity, which is similar to her own personality."

Prince Harry Marries Ms. Meghan Markle - Windsor Castle

Harry and Meghan's wedding cake

(Image credit: Photo by WPA Pool / Getty)

Princess Diana and Prince Charles

"To me this cake does not feel right in that it appears rigid and quite stiff in its appearance, reflecting Prince Charles’s behavior towards Diana back then," Stanton says.

"The cake—which was made at the Royal Naval Cookery School—lacked flair, imagination or passion and this perhaps is what could be said of the couple's relationship in later life."

Chief petty officer cook David Avery with the royal wedding cake made for Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding, 29th July 1981.

Charles and Diana's wedding cake

(Image credit: Photo by Princess Diana Archive / Getty)

Prince William and Kate Middleton

"Prince William and Kate Middleton had an amazing eight tiered cake which was very, very traditional, and this definitely goes back to their personalities," Stanton explains.

"They are very family-orientated people who love a sense of tradition, and it’s testament to their desire to carry on much of the Queen’s legacy, all while still being progressive.

"From how they behave, it’s clear to see that they are still both very conventional and grounded in their approach to their royal duties, so it’s no great revelation then that the cake reflects this."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's royal wedding cake is photographed before it goes on display at Buckingham Palace during the annual summer opening on July 20, 2011 in London, England. The cake was featured in the wedding of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on April 29.

William and Kate's wedding cake

(Image credit: Photo by WPA Pool / Getty)

The Queen and Prince Philip

"There is a psychology that would suggest the bigger and taller the cake, the more powerful the person who commissions the cake wants to appear," Stanton hypothesizes.

"This huge cake, at 9 feet tall and 500 pounds in weight reflected Princess Elizabeth’s position in society as she was next in line to be queen.

"The cake clearly had to reflect the occasion so we can see a lot of similarities in the grandiose-ness in Queen Elizabeth’s attitude and behavior towards her role.

"Perhaps the height of the cake was denoting her husband Prince Philip, a proud man who also stood tall throughout his life, both literally and figuratively."

Mr Schur (centre), chief confectioner at McVitie and Price Ltd, standing next to the official cake for Princess Elizabeth's marriage to Philip Mountbatten which is nine feet tall.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip's wedding cake

(Image credit: Photo by J. A. Hampton / Getty)

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles

"Charles and Camilla’s cake was not made up of multiple tiers, so it just being a simple creation struck me as a very traditional but elegant and individualistic choice," Stanton says.

"It’s reminiscent of many of Camilla‘s clothes she wears now as she’s very keen to wear white and cream when attending events with Prince Charles, plus I just think it speaks volumes in simplicity as to the fact the couple did not want to really make a massive event out of the wedding.

"It had much more of a low-key nature by comparison to many royal weddings.

"The cake is overall a reflection of the couple really wanting a simple wedding, not wishing to draw too much attention to a grandiose affair."

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.