With preparations for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day no doubt in full swing, we have decided to take a look back at some of the traditions used in past royal weddings. Following in the footsteps of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the nuptials will take place at St. George's Chapel in Windsor castle. The guest list will include fellow royals, foreign leaders, church officials and celebrities with Meghan carrying a bouquet made up of myrtle - a tradition set by Queen Victoria.
But what about the catering? As food trends change throughout the years, so does the royal wedding menu. Tom Bridgeman, Director of Catering at Cripps & Co, the wedding venue operators behind the Tithe Barn at Bolton Abbey, has taken a look at the royal wedding menus throughout the years, and predicted what he thinks a 2018 royal banquet will look like.
Princes Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten, 1947
Although the country was still rationing in 1947, this wedding menu was still quite luxurious. The meal started with Filet de Sole Mountbatten, followed by Partridge casserole with salad, green beans and pommes noisette, while guests were served an ice-cream bomb for dessert.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, 1981
This menu kept in with the traditions of previous royal weddings. Tom explains: "With dishes named after members of the monarchy such as 'Supreme de Volaille Princess de Galles' - Princess of Wales chicken supreme. With five courses, much fewer than previous generations, the menu does show a shift in moving towards a more modern approach. A simple dessert of English strawberries with clotted cream gives the menu a quintessentially patriotic finish."
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, 2005
Moving away from the traditional, formal banquet, Charles and Camilla's wedding was much more of a canapes and drinks set-up. Still with a strong British theme, sandwiches were offered first including egg and cress, smoked salmon and roast venison. Hot canapes included mini Cornish pasties, and grilled vegetable tartlets. For dessert, there was miniature, fun pastries like glazed mocha fudge, strawberry tartlets and caramel banana slice.
Prince William and Catherine Middleton, 2011
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's menu was much closer to a gastro-pub style meal (albeit a very extravagant one). Heritage, organic ingredients made up hearty, yet sophisticated dishes. Mains included saddle of North Highland Mey, and select organic lamb with Highgrove spring vegetables.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 2018
Although it's difficult to predict exactly what will be on the menu on the 19 May, it will no doubt be a highly sophisticated affair with one of the tastiest, innovative royal wedding menus to date. "Based on the current wedding catering trends, royal guests can expect the rustic themes from Will and Kate's to be continued," explains Tom. "We're seeing a rise in big, sociable sharing dishes and feast style menus. Small, pretty dishes are a thing of the past and now wedding food is more about tasty, high quality produce." He adds: "Harry and Meghan are very well travelled, which could also influence the cuisine on the menu. One of the couple’s favourite destinations is Botswana so there could be some exotic cocktails on offer. They might even serve Eton Mess for pudding!"