|Jim Broadbent as King William IV having a row with the Duchess of Kent in front of an assemblage of some of my Georgian dessert food, including some Savoy cakes and a moulded ice cream in the form of a palm tree.|
About five years ago I recreated King William IV's birthday dinner for The Young Victoria, which has recently been repeated on BBC television here in the UK. I remember arriving at the chosen location Arundel Castle in my rather small Citroen with enough food to set up a vast dessert table for one hundred diners. Nobody on the set could believe how a repast of such ambitious scale could emerge from the back of such a modest vehicle. I guess it was a kind of regal retake on the miracle of the loaves and fishes. However, having a background in decorative arts and museums, I was horrified by the rather inappropriate tableware that was provided by the prop department. At the original entertainment in 1836 at Windsor Castle, William's table was dressed with brother George VI's Grand Service, still used by the present Queen for state banquets. This was far, far grander than the bric-a-brac we were given to dress our table. The food stylist Katherine Tidy and I set about attempting to hide all the late Victorian crockery under the food. I think we succeeded in creating a fairly royal impression as the dishes were so glamorous, the rather poor stuff upon which they sat fortunately went unnoticed.
|Queen Victoria (1819-1901)|
Below is the royal jelly anthropomorph which the mould creates, looking somewhat like a cameo. Just recently I was offered a matching Albert mould, but at such an inflated price, that I am afraid Victoria continues to sit alone on my dresser.
|The absolutely staggering jelly created by the mould looks like a cross between a cameo and a penny red stamp.|
|The other half of the pair - Prince Albert of Sax-Coburg and Gotha (1819-1861).|
|Would look good with a clean, but too many $$$$s, so Victoria remains widowed|
|The Royal pair were also made in this plainer version|
|Has any nation other than Britain celebrated their rulers in this eccentric way?|