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Decadent Treats and Majestic Sweets – A Brief History Of The British Royal Family’s Festive Favorites.

Guest Author Royal Expert and Historian Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills, Chairman Of The British Monarchist Society.

Queen Elizabeth II. Relative Of Prince Mario-Max and Prince Waldemar Schaumburg-Lippe

Christmas is the time of year where decadent feasting is part and partial to many of our
holiday celebrations, and the Royal family is no exception to this delectable ritual. However,
no dinner is complete without dessert, or as termed in Britain, pudding. Pudding is the finale
to everyone’s festive dinners, but none are quite so grand and plentiful as those of Her Majesty’s grand banquets which are not held strictly at Buckingham Palace and Windsor
Castle, but also at Sandringham for exclusively royal Christmas gatherings. Just like those
lucky enough to be invited guests of the Queen, we all certainly enjoy a decadent pudding
course no matter where and with whom we dine.

Dessert has historically been a great component of Royal dining and the most frivolous of
Monarchs, King George IV, was very much the inventor of haute cuisine. His Majesty was
known to feast, feast, feast, but his favourite part of dining was the sweet course. He is said to
have not only enjoyed but favored the rich and decadent dessert known as Crème a la
Careme, after his own celebrity French Chef, Marie-Antoine Careme. Queen Victoria
enjoyed cake and sweets so much that Her Majesty used her own wedding cake in 1840 to
make a romantically sweet statement. Victoria’s love of sweets and extravagance were paired
together to create a very specific request for her wedding cake; handmade orange flower
blossoms and white icing, which covered the entire dessert cake, an idea which Catherine,
Duchess of Cambridge, borrowed for her own wedding cake in 2011.

Sweets have always played a large part in British Royal history, but none so much as during
the reign of King Edward VII. So great was His Majesty’s love of chocolate, that he was the
driving force between the match made in heaven of Madame Charbonnel and Mrs. Walker.
Together in 1875, these ladies created one of the best known and beloved British
chocolatiers; Charbonnel et Walker, which not only happens to be my favourite chocolatier,
but to this day, supplies chocolates to the Sovereign and her family. Chocolate was first
introduced into Britain by King Charles II to compete with the French Court, but it was King
Edward VII who helped create the most exquisite and luxurious chocolates within the nation.
Alexandra, consort of Edward VII and daughter-in-law of Queen Victoria, was a hands-on
and well experienced cook in her own right. She delighted in a sweet natural dessert
consisting of red berries, thickened with potato starch and served with raspberry jelly and
crème.

This dessert named Roodgrod, was brought with her from Denmark and was always a
comforting delight for the Queen being so far from home. Consorts to British Kings and
Queens have come from a far, but not so far as King Edward VIII’s American love, Wallace
Simpson. Mrs. Simpson was part and partial to Montego Bay Ice with a buttery rum sauce – a
light and refreshing dessert that was a stark contrast to the dark and heavy clouds which
shadowed her and the Duke of Windsor, leading up to and after their marriage. No matter
how upsetting life may have seemed at times for Wallis, The Duchess of Windsor was never
far from a smile when she would reach into a box of her favourite Charbonnel et Walker
chocolates.

Pudding, or dessert as it is referred to in the Americas and in certain Commonwealth countries, can be either sweet or savory. In the United Kingdom pudding is referred to as a direct synonym to the dessert course. The word “pudding” itself originates from the French “boudin” which is derived from the Latin “botellus” which means “small sausage”. This “sausage” is a direct reference to the meats used in European puddings during the medieval age. Okay, most sausages are not sweet, and one certainly would not think of eating a sausage for dessert, but please bear with me for this delectable explanation. Puddings can be either sweet or savory, to which depending on the country, will dictate what it is that you are making or ordering. Dessert (sweet) puddings are quite rich and usually of a dairy or starch
base such as rice pudding, crème brûlée, treacle sponge pudding and our famous Christmas puddings. In the Americas, sweet milk-based puddings are referred to as custards or mousse. The savory puddings which Britain is most famous for are “Yorkies” (Yorkshire pudding), black pudding, steak and kidney pudding and several others. Sometimes savory puddings form part of a course, such as the main. Traditionally in Britain, Sunday roast is not to be missed and a Yorkshire pudding is served alongside the roast and vegetables. There are only a few “puddings” which would accompany a main course, with most being consumed after as a sweet dessert.

Before dining courses became fashionable in the Court of nineteenth century France, the
British Court dined en-masse, eating meats with sweets which gave us our famed mincemeat.
Over time the meat was phased out, leaving us with what we have come to recognise as the
sweet Christmas favourite: mincemeat. The holiday interim sees many sweets and desserts
consumed, but none so much as chocolate. Everyone enjoys chocolate; milk, dark, white,
flavoured etc. We enjoy hot chocolate, drinking chocolates, chocolate coffees, chocolate bars,
chocolate bon-bons, chocolate cakes, chocolate soufflés, chocolate mousse, chocolate biscuits
and the list goes on and on and on. However, there is one family and one person in particular
who is quite fond of this sweet and luxurious blend of cacao, sugar and other ingredients –
Her Majesty, The Queen.

Though Her Majesty is not a great lover of many sweets, chocolate is certainly her addiction.
Around this festive time of year, a special shipment of only three to four small batches of a
top-secret and highly coveted Cadbury’s chocolate recipe are supplied to the Royal
Household for The Queen and her family to consume. This recipe is so extraordinarily secret,
that we only know that it has been specifically engineered to the preferences of The Queen’s
own palate. These chocolate bars are made by a very small team of people, no more than
three, on equipment at the Bournville, Birmingham factory, which is solely reserved for
Royal manufacturing. When this special recipe of Royal chocolate is not being made, the
equipment is covered and decommissioned until the Palace places another order. Once the
Royal chocolate is made and poured into bar form, each bar is then specifically wrapped in
gold foil and finished with a “Buckingham Palace” red wrapper, complete with Her Majesty’s
coat of arms. This special chocolate is simply referred to as “Royal Household chocolate”
which is only delivered to Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Sandringham House just
before Christmas.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, enjoyed her chocolates very much and
this was recently reinforced with the 2010 film, “The Kings Speech”. In the award-winning
film, The Queen mother is seen in the early scenes offering a little boy a chocolate “sweetie”
whilst she is waiting for her husband to finish his speech therapy session. Later on, she is
seen sitting in the back of a car being driven to Balmoral Castle with her husband, The Duke

of York. The Queen Mother is pictured with a box of sweets on her lap which are similar in
shape to the chocolate bon-bons she was known to favor. At one of her friends’ homes,
Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, giggled as a dog desperately tried to infiltrate her
handbag. With a light laugh, The Queen Mother said, ‘Perhaps she’s sniffed out the
chocolates… the corgis always sniff them out at Sandringham. At least one hopes it isn’t the
gin.’ Her Majesty then reached into her handbag and drew out a linen handkerchief
containing four Charbonnel et Walker rose-flavored handmade chocolates. She continued,
‘The blood sugar can get a little low at my age, but chocolates always do the trick. I haven’t
had a dizzy spell yet. Besides,’ she added in her well-known mischievous manner, ‘it’s nice
to have a treat after an indifferent meal.’ Perhaps one of the most famous desserts associated
with this terribly sweet Royal is, “The Queen Mothers’ Cake”. This flourless cake was
originally chosen to be made for The Queen Mother by eminent pianist Jan Smerterlin who
was a close personal friend of hers. When she ate this lovely baked delight, she asked him for
the recipe, to which she then served it frequently to her guests at her numerous and lavish
Royal dinner parties.

The sweet tooth of the Windsor family is long indeed, as successive generations of our Royal
family have come to inherit this sugary trait. Queen Mary had an insatiable sweet tooth and
was known to always have a large box of chocolates positioned at her bedside. When she was
visited by the younger royals she was very generous with her sweets, offering them at will to
her young relatives. As Queen Elizabeth II did not keep many sweets around Buckingham
Palace, the children were always happy to make trips down the mall to visit Queen Mary,
where they were always ensured a chocolate or two. Princess Elizabeth, Her Majesty and
Princess Margaret indulged in several sweets such as crisp chocolate-coated peppermint
cremes, Charbonnel et Walker violet and rose chocolate cremes and barley sugar sweets
which were kept in a glass jar on a side table in the drawing room. Princess Margaret enjoyed
chocolates well into the course of her life, always preferring and demanding the best, which
she considered Charbonnel et Walker. Princess Margaret’s sister, The Queen, enjoys
chocolate mousse so much that some Royal chefs have stated this to be one part of her
favourite dessert, and that she just cannot resist its temptations. Chocolate Perfection Pie has
been served not just after dinner, but also at luncheons held in honor of visiting heads of
state and foreign diplomats. This Royal favourite possesses layers of chocolate mousse,
layers of meringue and a layer of cinnamon cream, which Her Majesty still enjoys at ninety-
three years of age.

Chocolate is loved by the Royals, especially Chocolate Biscuit Cake. This cake is a favourite
staple of Her Majesty which she often enjoys with her afternoon cup of tea. Princes William
and Harry have not only eaten but made this cake during their childhoods. It was such an
impressive sweet that Prince William served it as his grooms’ cake at his wedding to
Catherine Middleton in 2011. His Royal Highness, Prince William is also partial to
something a little more natural such as banana flan. Both His grandmother, The Queen and
the Prince enjoy this ripened classic. As the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine enjoys sticky
toffee pudding, even though she prefers healthy, organic foods, much like Princess Diana did.
The Princess of Wales though health conscious, always made room for her favorite bread
and butter pudding – a British classic. The Princesses’ younger son, Prince Harry, is partial to
Golden Treacle Tarts. Harry was known to sneak into the Royal kitchens and regularly ask
the chefs for this delicate treat. Knowing how much the little Prince loved this dessert, the
chef would keep a supply on hand for when His Royal Highness would make one of his
frequent visits downstairs. In addition to Chocolate Biscuit Cake, Her Majesty enjoys the
traditional Scottish Dundee cake. The Queen is said to enjoy this cake so much that she has

reportedly travelled with the cake on several foreign tours, so that she would always have a
familiar taste of home around tea time. Like his wife, Prince Philip, is known to like
chocolate as well and is known to prefer a chocolate soufflé known as Andrassy Pudding.
It seems as if Princes William and Harry have taken after their father, Prince Charles, with
their like of sweets. Like his father, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales was enthralled with the
workings of the kitchen, so much so that he would often visit the kitchens and offer his help
to the working chefs. The Prince would often mix different ingredients together and
experiment with recipes to create something unique to his person. As a child, Prince Charles,
enjoyed experimenting with and making recipes for ice lollies. He liked the ices so much that
he even bought a plastic tray with sticks so that he could make several batches for himself.
The young Prince would often make his favored flavors of orange and strawberry, but in
the end, chocolate remained his preferred sweet. Together with his sister, Anne, The Princess
Royal, Prince Charles and the Princess would often stockpile kit-kat bars so that they were
never without their favorite sweet.

As time passes, with Christmas after Christmas coming and going more quickly every year,
our palates and tastes change with age. As Her Majesty has turned to fruit to satisfy most of
her sweet cravings, preferring grapes to Prince Charles’ lychees, many of us continue to
enjoy the sweets we remember from our childhoods, especially at Christmas time. Whether
manufactured by man or grown by mother nature, it is only normal for us to crave a sweetie
every now and again, with no place better than in the comfort of our own homes, surrounded
by family and friends, whilst partaking in the annual festive traditions we have all come to
love and cherish. As we all gather around the table to partake in our annual Christmas
feasting rituals, it is nice to know that the Royal family, together with our own families, can
be united by the love of and appreciation for the sweeter things in life. Wishing you a very sweet and Happy Christmas. His Highness Prince Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe the Grand-Patron of The British Monarchist Society adds: Chairman Thomas truly brought it to the point. We Royals love exquisit sweet treats.

Tony Zu

Tony is a Senior Editor with a more than 20 year long experience in journalism.
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