As the much-awaited royal wedding of Prince William of England and his fiancée Kate Middleton draws even nearer, word on the web is spreading like wildfire about the food that they are going to serve.
It seems like there will be no Royal Lunch for the wedding guests.
Instead, they will all be treated to several servings of canapés during the wedding reception. According to a recent news report, the reception will be held at the Royal Palace, where more than 600 wedding guests are expected to attend. There will be champagne and wine, that is a given, but the food served is certainly simple.
In contrast, the late Princess Diana, Prince William’s mother, had a lavish royal lunch during her wedding reception. At that time, 27 cakes were prepared for the occasion. In addition to that, the main wedding cake was doubled, in case the one got destroyed during transit. But, of course, the reception was considerably smaller (only 120 guests) so such lavishness should not be surprising.
There are several reasons why this state of affairs came about. To begin with, the Royal Kitchen only had the capacity to feed 150 people. Since the number of guests is way too much than the kitchen can handle, a different way to entertain guests may seem to be in order.
Second, the Royal family is also concerned about publicity. Due to the economy, it would not look good if they were pictured celebrating a wedding with a lavish party. With the country still stinging from being hit by the global financial crisis, they want to avoid creating a bad impression.
Last, it also solves the issue of pecking order. A formal lunch or dinner requires too many protocols, particularly in the seating arrangement of the guests or of the host. By serving finger foods, guests can freely move about and mingle with other people. They would also remove aspects of status discrimination with the help of this set-up.
It would be interesting to see how this plan would turn out. But this is not the first time that a wedding celebration created a buzz. Back with Chelsea Clinton’s marriage, the news community was on fire when it came out that the Clinton, who was a vegetarian, will be serving meat at the reception. But the news about this kind of royal wedding would definitely be one step closer to being cheapskate.
Perhaps the words of Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia can sum it up: “It sounds very strange,” he told The Times, “From what I remember at all the other royal weddings I went to, we were served the best lunch possible.”
Maybe it is just the signs of times. Let us just hope it does not cause a political ruckus.