Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in 1981 in one of the most iconic ceremonies of the 20th century. Now, 40 years later, the public has a chance to own a slice of royal history, courtesy of Dominic Winter Auctioneers.
The auctioneers recently listed four preserved slices of wedding cake, and anticipate each slice will sell for somewhere between $277 and $416 when bidding begins next week.
On July 29, 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married in front of a television audience of 750 million viewers around the globe, while more than 600,000 supporters filled the streets of London. Nearly 25 years after her death, Princess Diana remains a beloved figure in royal history and pop culture, and the Dominic Winter Auctioneers anticipate the public will be eager to own a relic from one of her most famous moments as a public figure.
The famed royal ceremony featured a stunning 5-foot-tall, five-tier wedding cake, along with an astonishing 22 additional official wedding cakes. The cake slices available for purchase are believed to come from one of the 22 assorted extras, from either the side of a cake or the very top of a single-tiered cake.
The cake slices originally belonged to Moyra Smith, who served as an employee of the Queen Mother. The auctioneers believe a cake must have been sent to Clarence House for the staff to celebrate the wedding, from which Smith preserved multiple slices with cling film.
For years, she stored the royal dessert in a floral cake tin, which she dated — July 29, 1981, the day of the ceremony — signed, and labeled, although misspelling the beloved princess’s name. The tin reads, “Prince Charles & Princess Diane’s Wedding Cake.”
Smith’s family sold the preserved cake slices to the auctioneers back in 2008. “It appears to be in exactly the same good condition as when originally sold,” the website listing reads, “but we advise against eating it.”
The pieces for sale are made of a marzipan base, covered in white icing, and feature a sugared replica of the Royal Coat of Arms. Included in the listing are three papers: the Ceremonial and Order of Service programs for the wedding in St Paul’s Cathedral, a memorial Royal Wedding Breakfast menu, and a table seating program for Buckingham Palace — all dated from the day of the wedding.
This isn’t the first case of a royal wedding cake being auctioned off to the public. A slice of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s 1947 cake sold in 2015 for more than $750, and a piece from Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 2011 ceremony went for a jaw-dropping $4,160 in 2013.
Buyers interested in the slices from Charles and Diana’s ceremony can reserve appointments to view the cakes on August 9 and 10, followed by live bidding that can be performed in person, online, or via telephone.