A cake fit for Her Majesty
McVitie’s Cake Company, part of United Biscuits, is pleased to announce that it will be gifting a cake to Her Majesty The Queen to commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The cake has been designed to celebrate the 60 glorious years of Her Majesty’s reign and the important role HM plays in the life of the country and the wider Commonwealth.
The cake will be on display at Buckingham Palace on 4 June, the day of the Diamond Jubilee concert.
Kevin McGurk, Operational Services Director at United Biscuits, says: “We are delighted to show our appreciation for Her Majesty’s long reign over the country by providing this cake, which highlights the important role HM plays in the Commonwealth and across the United Kingdom”.
Details of the cake [Photographs are available – see link below]
The cake is 1.05 metres tall and consists of five tiers representing different aspects of The Queen’s life.
The base of the cake features all of the 54 flags of the Commonwealth nations, together with a quote on the second tier from The Queen’s coronation speech about HM’s role in the Commonwealth. The quote reads: “ Of societies old and new; of lands and races different in history and origins but all, by God’s Will, united in spirit and in aim.”
The next tier of the six-sided cake features beautiful depictions of the residences of The Queen: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, Sandringham and Holyrood, together with a panel celebrating ’60 glorious years’ of HM’s reign with regal miniatures of a lion, ‘ER’ and a crown.
The third layer of the cake links back to the coronation with – alternating – the Royal Coat of Arms for The Queen and a representation of the windows of Westminster Abbey where Her Majesty’s coronation ceremony took place.
The fourth tier of the cake features – alternating – the ‘Order of the Garter’ in its decorative silver surround, with a silver/white lattice ring with the four national symbols in each corner; and the ‘ER’ in gold, with a gold/white lattice ring, surrounded with the four national symbols in each corner. The Order of the Garter, founded in 1348, remains the highest order of chivalry in England today.
At the top of the cake is an exquisite replica of the Imperial Crown. The crown has taken 200 man hours and four weeks to make and is modelled in solid edible icing with a combination of real and edible gems and pearls to represent the diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and pearls in the Imperial Crown.
The cake contains some 50kg of dried fruit, which has been soaked in three litres of whisky and brandy. Twenty people have been working on the cake for up to five months – designing, planning, baking and decorating.
Royal Cake Making Heritage
This will be the fifteenth cake made by McVitie’s for a Royal occasion. The first cake was made for the marriage of HM King George V to HM Queen Mary in 1893. They also made a four-tier Royal Wedding Cake for The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947, as well as the official anniversary cake for their 60th wedding anniversary in 2007. The most recent cake made by McVitie’s was the “Groom’s” chocolate biscuit cake, made for the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year.
United Biscuits’ Other Jubilee Activities
Over the forthcoming Jubilee bank holiday weekend, McVitie’s will be sponsoring the Tea Garden area of the sell out Jubilee festival in Battersea Park. Things to see in the Tea Garden area include a portrait of The Queen made out of cake and a competition to build the world’s tallest cake. One of the judges for the tallest cake event – called Cake in the Clouds – will be McVitie’s Head Chef, Cake Design and Development, Paul Courtney, who is one of the team that made the chocolate biscuit cake for the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year. There will also be plenty of samples of McVitie’s cake and biscuits to try.
During the afternoon, the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Boat Pageant will sail past Battersea Park, led by The Queen and involving one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river. Among the boats will be a craft that has a special historic link to McVitie’s.
McVitie’s has sponsored a boat originally called the John and Frances MacFarlane which is an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat dating back to 1960. It was previously based at the most northerly RNLI station in the Shetlands from 1961 to 1986 and saved many lives during that time. Its coxswain was awarded the RNLI Silver medal for one rescue. The boat was paid for by the MacFarlane family, who as part of MacFarlane and Lang operated the company’s Tollcross factory in Glasgow. MacFarlane and Lang was later absorbed with McVitie and Price to form United Biscuits.
The Tollcross factory still exists as a McVitie’s site, where it produces McVitie’s Hobnobs and Rich Tea, and it was this factory that produced the Royal wedding cake of the future George V in 1893, starting McVitie’s tradition of making royal cakes. The John and Frances Macfarlane is now owned by solicitor Guy Thompson and is called the Iris O’Faith, but for the Jubilee event the boat has been restored to its original colours and name. As well as being used as a leisure craft, Mr Thompson uses the Iris O’Faith to take autistic and other severely disabled children from London on boat trips with the Leyton Sailing Trust.