Title

Having our cake and eating it too: a reading of royal wedding cakes

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Wessell, A 2012, 'Having our cake and eating it too: a reading of royal wedding cakes', Australasian Journal of Popular Culture, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 47-56.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/ajpc.2.1.47_1

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

There is no more basic commodity than food, but the expanding scholarly attention it has received also highlights its complexity. This article focuses on a food close to many people's hearts: the wedding cake. In particular, it discusses the style, form and consumption of royal wedding cakes to explore what this reveals about Australian identity. The cultural inscriptions and influences of royal wedding cakes reflect the intersection between food and national identity; however, this is a multifarious relationship between nation, race, gender, class and sexuality that is neither static nor certain. Despite changes in Australia's relationship with Britain after the Second World War, the monarchy remains a living and popular institution. The popular imagining of empire and royalty persists, as evidenced in the popularity of royal weddings and the influence of royal wedding cakes. This influence is not, however, one way: a distinctive new style of wedding cake developed in Australia has changed that of Britain. Deconstructing the wedding cake in this way provides scope for challenging the narratives of both the potency and decline of empire in terms of Australia.