Traditionally, the wedding cake has served as a symbol of the union of love between a bride and groom, as well as the main centerpiece for the reception. A wedding cake can even be kept for years after the fact; couples typically enjoy part of their frozen wedding cake to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, and there’s a cake that’s survived for over a century (and even withstood a World War II bomb blast!). But in the past, when iconic cakes were destroyed, there wasn’t much hope for resurrection — until now.
When Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip in 1947, Peek Frean designed a multi-tiered confection aptly fit for a queen. Over six feet tall and weighing 600 pounds, the colossal cake was actually put on display at the Peek Frean and Co. factory until 1989. When the factory closed, a South London museum planned to make a permanent exhibit about the factory that would house the cake. However, it was later deemed too fragile to transport and was left at its original location.
In 2015, the famous cake was vandalized almost to complete devastation. It was turned upside down and splattered with red paint. All seemed lost for the historic dessert until Professor Mark Williams and the Warwick Manufacturing Group stepped in with their 3D scanning technology.
Williams and his team were able to scan the cake within a 0.1mm accuracy and reproduce it as a 3D model. This model will be used to digitally repair the existing cake.
It’s an immensely long process. The cake has been coated and is now ready for decoration, which will occur next month and throughout the early spring in various workshops. The cake will be fully assembled during the late summer.
Williams stated, “It was fantastic to apply our technology to such an exciting project and help restore such an iconic cake to its former glory, especially in the year of the Queen’s Golden Anniversary.”
The Warwick Manufacturing Group worked closely with the British Sugarcrafting Guild on all of the cake’s tiers and decorations.
National Vice Chairman of BSG, Judith Lynn, noted, “[The project] illustrates perfectly how modern technology and traditional crafts can work in harmony to recreate such an important historic piece of sugar art.”
It won’t be long until this sweet piece of British royal history will be restored to its former glory, delighting both Brits and history buffs everywhere.