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

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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.

Keywords: bride; cake; royalty; taste; wedding cake; weddings

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ajpc.2.1.47_1

Affiliations: Southern Cross University

Publication date: 2012-06-07

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  • The Australasian Journal of Popular Culture is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the scholarly understanding of everyday cultures. It is concerned with the study of the social practices and the cultural meanings that are produced and are circulated through the processes and practices of everyday life. As a product of consumption, an intellectual object of inquiry, and as an integral component of the dynamic forces that shape societies. The journal will be receptive to articles which focus on Australasian examples, or broader comparative and theoretical questions viewed through an Australasian lens.
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