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The Extraordinary Journey Of Queen Elizabeth's Wedding Cake

As tributes pour in for Queen Elizabeth II, who died on September 8, fans are looking back at some of the monarch's most iconic moments, and her November 20, 1947, wedding to Philip Mountbatten was an epic ceremony. In the wake of WWII, rationing was still in effect in the U.K., posing an obstacle in making both her dress and her wedding cake, notes House and Garden.

Designer Normal Hartnell rose to the challenge and created a silk gown with a bejeweled train several yards long, inspired by a Botticelli painting. But the cake faced steeper challenges than her dress, because Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip's wedding cake was no ordinary affair, as it needed to be representative of the monarchy and be able to feed 2,000 guests.

Confectioner Fredrik Schur of McVitie and Price Ltd. had created a vision of a 500-lb., 9-foot-high fruitcake of complex design and multiple tiers that the couple had selected from 11 options. The tiers were elaborate, depicting the couple's history, family, and respective shields and crests, but how could the ingredients be assembled in such lean times?

Where there's a will, there's a way, especially for a couple as cherished and an occasion as momentous. The necessary dried fruits, nuts, spices, and liquors were all donated from South Africa and Australia and flown to the U.K., where the couple's magnificent wedding cake became known as the "10,000-mile cake," notes Cordon Bleu.