Royal cake decorator retires after 71 years…
After 71 fantastic years making cakes for the royal family. Cake decorator Eddie Spence has finally retired from his duties at the age of 85.
Eddie, from Bournemouth, has worked on cakes for nearly every royal occasion since beating eggs as an apprentice for the Queen’s wedding nearly 70 years ago.
Cakes for the Queen
Known as the ‘king of royal icing’. Eddie has worked on cakes for events such as the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana as well as both the Queen’s Golden and Silver Jubilees.
Starting in cake industry at the tender age of 14. Eddie talked with the Daily Mail about his start at the famous Mackie’s bakery in his hometown of Edinburgh…
‘I started there at 14 because my parents couldn’t afford to keep me in school and straight away I loved it.
‘Most people started their apprenticeships at 16 but I got a two-year head start which put me at an advantage.
‘The apprentices worked downstairs in those days and not long after I started I went upstairs to deliver some ingredients and the man in charge asked what I was doing.
‘It turned out they were working on a cake for the Queen’s wedding and I was given the job of hand-beating eggs for the job. It took all day but it was definitely worth it.’
Eddie’s favourite cake?
With such an incredible career, it must have been hard for the MBE to pick a favourite. However, Eddie has revealed that the one which stands out the most for him is the golden carriage cake he made for the Queen’s silver jubilee in 1977.
The cake, which resembled the Queen’s Gold State Coach, stood at an incredible 21 inches tall and weighed a colossal 56 pounds included layers of gold icing and intricately carved detail.
An MBE of the Queen, an MVP of cake…
As previously mentioned Eddie was awarded an MBE in 2000. Something that the cake veteran cites as the proudest moments of his life during one of the most emotional times. Receiving the accolade just one day after the passing of his first wife…
‘When the letter offering me an MBE first arrived in 1999 I wasn’t going to accept it because I was obviously feeling very down after my wife had sadly passed away just the day before.’ He said
‘Eventually, though my son talked me round and we went up to accept it in the year 2000. It was really amazing because the Queen knew all about me and we actually had quite a long chat. She was aware I’d done her sister’s wedding cake but I had to let her down when she thought I’d made hers.’ (Eddie had only been involved in beating the eggs for the Queen’s cake)
Happy retirement Eddie, thoroughly deserved!!!
If you were the Royal Cake Decorator what would you make and why? Let us know in the comments below.