The Most Extravagant Royal Cakes In Modern History

Weddings — the glitzy occasions celebrating the promise of eternal love and respect -– are one of the most memorable days for many couples, and every aspect of the event is usually carefully planned. Although weddings can differ in many things -– such as style, location, and setting –- there are some common features and elements that are included in most traditional and modern weddings. One of those features is the wedding cake.

Apart from the bride and the groom, the cake is usually the star of the show at most wedding receptions. It is an essential part of the celebration that has its moment when it is theatrically shown and presented, sometimes with flashing lights to further emphasize its significance and showcase its beauty.

Because these desserts are usually the centerpieces, wedding cakes are often lavishly decorated, and usually quite expensive. As reported by Brides, on average, couples in the U.S. will spend around $350 for a wedding cake. Of course, the cost can easily increase, as seen at some grandiose celebrity weddings, but when it comes to royalty, the price of the official wedding cake can be astronomical. This is the collection of some of the most expensive and extravagant cakes served at royal weddings.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton

The Dutchess of Cambridge and Prince William won over the public with their approachable, down-to-earth character and impeccable royal behavior. The couple's wedding on April 29, 2011, at the Westminster Abbey was one of the most anticipated events in modern royal history. It was an elegant ceremony, hosting around 1,900 guests (via The image of the elegant couple sharing a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace became a historic royal moment and made headlines around the world. Following the wedding ceremony, the Queen held the reception at Buckingham palace (via As seen from one of the auctioned menus, the wedding had a distinctive British flare, and the couple also chose a traditional wedding cake.

As People reported, the royal cake served at Kate and William's wedding was a traditional English eight-tier fruit cake designed by Fiona Cairns that was covered in sugar icing, which stepped away from the traditional use of royal icing. Cairns decorated the cake with floral sugar pieces made according to the list of specific flowers and leaves Middleton wanted to have on her wedding cake. The final result was an elegant, white cake decorated with 900 sugar ornaments. Although the cost was never officially revealed, Page Six estimated that the price could come up to a somewhat shocking $80,000, making this sweet artwork the most expensive royal cake in history.

Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer

On July 29, 1981, prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer (via History). Best described as a fairytale wedding, the event was one of the most memorable royal moments ever. As reported by Business Insider, it was also one of the most expensive weddings ever, reaching the astronomical price of $48 million, which would today come up to $110 million. Prince Charles is the heir to the British throne, so the wedding could not be less than spectacular. The ceremony took place at St Paul's Cathedral in front of 3,500 people, and it was estimated that the broadcast was seen by 750 million people, making it the most broadcasted event to that date (via BBC). The grand ceremony was then followed by the traditional wedding breakfast for 120 chosen guests. 

When it came to the wedding cake, the royal couple featured more than 20 wedding cakes for their big day, but only one was presented as the official. As the New York Times reported, the 200-pound five-tier fruit cake was designed by the pastry chefs at the Royal Naval School of Cookery. David Avery was the cake designer, later recalling for the Lancashire Telegraph that he spent 14 weeks working on the cake and needed to make two, as it was feared that one might break during transport. Although it was not disclosed how much the cake cost, at Bakingo, it was estimated that the price would come up to $40,000.

Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Grace Kelly

A beautiful and talented Hollywood actress marrying a dashing European prince sounds like a great intro for a romantic fairytale, except that it was a description of a real-life fantasy starring Grace Kelly, the Oscar-winning actress, and the Prince Rainier III of Monaco. Less than a year after they met, the couple tied the knot on April 18, 1956 (via History). The ceremony was a great spectacle that started with Grace's arrival in Monaco and finished with a glorious ceremony on April 19, when Grace frolicked in her legendary wedding gown at the Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Monaco. Some 700 people attended the wedding, and the sweet ending to the ceremony was the grand wedding cake decorated with white doves (via Brides).

The cake was made by the pastry chefs of Hôtel de Paris (via The Enchanted Manor), and as Sophia Zimmer, a spokesperson for cake shop Jack & Beyond shared to Express, the price of the cake would be around £10,000 ($12,200), making it one of the most expensive cakes in history. The estimated cost is not surprising as Vogue reported that it was a six-tier giant of a cake that topped in at around 225 kilograms or almost 500 pounds.

Princess Victoria and Daniel Westling

The crown princess Victoria is the heir apparent to the Swedish throne, so it is not surprising that her private and professional life attracts much publicity. Her royal wedding was no exception. The princess got engaged to Daniel Westling in 2009, and the couple crowned their relationship with an elegant wedding held on June 19, 2010, at Stockholm's Cathedral of St. Nicholas (via Britannica). Although there were some objections concerning the wedding protocol, as Victoria wanted her father to hand her to her future husband (via The Guardian), the wedding was a lucrative event that hosted 1,200 guests and became the largest event ever broadcasted on SVT (via Royal Central).

The central cake for the wedding was made by the Association of Swedish bakers and confectioners, and it was described in detail in the official press release. It was revealed that the cake was made with "12 bottles of champagne, 25 liters of cream, and 900 eggs." It was a heavy, 11-tier cake, and each part was shaped as a four-leaf clover. The design was described as a blend of tradition and modern style to symbolize "royalty with tradition and a modern couple." Based on the size, ingredients, and detailed decorations, it's fair to assume this royal wedding cake would fetch a hefty price tag, but as it was the gift by the association, it was never revealed how much it cost.

Prince Albert II of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock

Although their marriage has been the subject of many rumors and speculations, the royal wedding of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene Wittstock, a former Olympic swimmer, was undoubtedly a glorious fairytale event. The couple married in a civil ceremony on July 1, 2011. The religious wedding was held the following day at the Cour d'Honneur of the Palace of Monaco (via People described the wedding as a multi-day affair that came with a price tag of $70 million, suggesting that it was a glorious, lavish, and pretty pricey celebration.

Of course, the menu and the official wedding cake had to match the glamourous flare. The famous Alain Ducasse created the entire menu, explaining to the Financial Times that it "would celebrate "la terre et la mer" – organic vegetables and fresh fish." Bakers&Artists provided a detailed description of the royal wedding cake, describing it as a "soft biscuit base" that included almonds, a redcurrant compote, and airy vanilla mousse. The entire cake was topped off with a layer of white chocolate and gooseberries. The cake was a monumental, seven-tier dessert that towered the couple, and based on the ingredients, the size, 250 hours it took to complete, and the price of the wedding, it was probably one of the most expensive cakes in modern royal history.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Although prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to move away from their senior royal duties in 2021, they were wedded as a royal couple. They married on May 19, 2018, at St George's Chapel (via Following the religious ceremony, the Queen hosted a wedding reception at St George's Hall in Windsor Castle. In attendance were 600 guests who were served a creative menu featuring a selection of starters, main courses, and miniature desserts. The reception ended with the official wedding cake (via

In line with their personalities, the young couple decided to break the tradition with their cake. It was revealed that California-raised pastry chef Claire Ptak would make the cake, and according to the couple's wishes, it would reflect springtime with its subtle lemon and elderflower flavor, buttercream frosting, and fresh flower decorations (via CBS). It was published on Twitter that it was adorned with 150 fresh flowers consisting of peonies and roses. It was additionally shared on Twitter that the cake was made with an elderflower syrup that came straight from the trees on the Queen's property in Sandringham. 

When it comes to the cost, there are several guesses. In an interview for CBS, Ivy Jacobson, the senior editor at The Knot, predicted that the cost of this royal cake could have been over $70,000, though Delish calculated that it would come closer to $32,000. Nevertheless, both estimates suggest this is one of the most expensive royal wedding cakes.

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank

Princess Eugenie, the Queen's granddaughter, and Jack Brooksbank met on a skiing trip in Switzerland, describing their encounter as "love at first sight" (via Their seven-year-long relationship was crowned by a royal wedding on October 12, 2018, at the palace at St George's Chapel. The BBC later reported that the guest list included royal family members and an impressive celebrity list. Following the wedding ceremony, which included performances by Andrea Bocelli and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the reception later took place at St George's Hall at Windsor. The entire wedding was an elegant affair featuring lovely autumnal décor.

The cake served at the reception matched the autumn theme of the wedding. The royal press reported that it was a traditional English wedding cake but that it embraced a modern feel (via BBC). Sophie Cabot was chosen as the cake's designer, and the couple opted for red velvet and chocolate cake, which steps from the royal tradition of serving fruit cakes as the main royal wedding cakes. The six-layer cake was decorated by elegant sugar work representing fall foliage entangled in ivy, which according to Harpers Bazaar symbolizes their home at Kensington Palace. Express estimated that Princess Eugenie's cake was on the more affordable side (by royalty standards anyway) with a price tag of £6,500 (around $8,000).

Queen Elizabeth II and Philip Mountbatten

The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh married on November 20, 1947, at the Westminster Abbey when the Queen was still a princess. Because she was the heir to the British throne, the wedding was heavily publicized and was one of the biggest media events up to that date (via British Heritage). It was also one of the greatest royal love stories that sadly ended in 2021 when the Duke of Edinburgh passed away. The Queen and the Duke married in the wake of WWII, and despite the war traumas and the ongoing food rationing, the royal family managed to organize a wedding fit for the future queen (via Town and Country Magazine).

Following the royal wedding, the reception continued with a traditional wedding breakfast attended by 146 guests who were served more than 10 different cakes, including the star of the reception — the official wedding cake baked by the McVitie and Price (via The Royal Collection Trust reported that it stood a staggering nine feet and came in at 900 pounds (though some estimates put it at a more modest 500 pounds). It was so large that Prince Phillip opted to cut it with a sword. 

House and Garden explained that the intricate detail was made by the chief confectioner at McVitie and Price Ltd, and it portrayed some of the couple's favorite activities. The cake was also memorable as some of the ingredients were donated from around the world, earning the name "the 10,000-mile cake." (via British Heritage). The cost of the cake and the official recipe were never revealed, but it was surely one of the most extravagant royal cakes of the 20th century. 

Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones

CNN described the wedding of prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones as a "modern-day fairy tale." The couple officially tied the knot on June 19, 1999, at St. George's Chapel in a wedding ceremony that was less pompous than most British royal weddings. Royal Central reported that the couple didn't want the occasion to be a state event but held a somewhat private family wedding. The guest list included 550 people, and the young couple asked the attendees to avoid wearing headpieces.

Although the wedding was described as modest, especially compared to other royal weddings, Edward and Sophie did not stick to the same fashion regarding their official wedding cake. As BBC reported, the bride chose a seven-tier monumental cake that stood 10 feet in height when on its table. As far as the cake's flavor, the couple broke the tradition as they opted to go for a chocolate-flavored devil's food cake

Linda Fripp was the pastry chef in charge, and it was reported that the cake took 515 hours to finish. Fripp confirmed that the entire cake was eaten at the wedding. The piece had glamorous and intricate sugar decorations, and the top tier held an intriguing topper in the shape of tennis rackets, allegedly to symbolize the tennis charity event where the couple met (via Hello!). Fripp never disclosed the cost of the cake, but it certainly was one of the showstoppers that would put it on the list of some of the most expensive royal cakes.

Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden married Sofia Hellqvist on June 13, 2015, in the Royal Chapel at Stockholm Palace. Although Prince Carl will likely not become the future King, his royal wedding sparked much public interest, and the entire event was broadcasted on Swedish national television (via The Knot News). As Vogue reported, the wedding reception continued with a creative menu that included Champagne,  peach sorbet, and a royal cake designed by pastry chef Fredrik Borgskog.

The royal cake served at the wedding was in line with the couple's fun and easy-going character. The cake had a modern feel, with cakes positioned on a specially designed futuristic-like pedestal that stands out from the usual, pristine white royal cakes. It also hid a very surprising ingredient – Pop Rocks! People reported that Carl Philip wished to include the crackling candy inside the cakes, and the cakes were flavored with strawberries, rhubarb, and pistachios. The modern character of the cake was accentuated by lit sugar ornaments, and the bride and groom jointly cut the first slice with the prince's sword (via Youtube). The price of the cake was never disclosed, but it certainly remains one of the most intriguing royal wedding cakes to date.