Celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with gin cocktails, shortbread cookies, and more of the royal family's favorite snacks and drinks.
Followers of the British royal family are probably marking big red X’s on their calendars until May 19 arrives, when Prince Harry—former party boy turned philanthropist—will finally settle down with Meghan Markle, the once-divorced American actress who has charmed the entire planet into loving her maybe even as much as Harry does. The occasion calls for an epic celebration, but if you’re not among the 2,640 commoners chosen to attend the wedding along with the royal families of the world, you can still watch in style by throwing your own royal wedding viewing party.
Your menu should, of course, include British products, but a real royal family enthusiast will serve dishes that pay homage to different members of the royal family, from Queen Elizabeth’s preferred cocktail to Princess Diana’s favorite dessert. Present it all on this royal wedding china made in honor of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and you'll have all your bases covered.
Here are our picks for the snack, drinks, and dinner dishes that will make your party worthy of Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth II might be the picture of propriety, but even she enjoys a drink every once in a while. Though reports circulated that she drinks up to four cocktails every day, former chef to the royals, Darren McGrady, quickly shot down those rumors. She merely enjoys the occasional gin and Dubonnet, a type of aperitif, he clarified. Try a round of gin martinis to get the party started in honor of the queen.
Camel Valley Brut
This sparkling wine comes from the very first British winery to receive a royal warrant, meaning that it’s been a supplier to the Royal Household for more than five years. There are even rumors that wines from Camel vineyards might be served at the wedding.
2014 Camel Valley 'Cornwall' Brut, £27.95 on camelvalley.com
Twinings English Breakfast tea
No British-themed celebration is complete without tea. Twinings tea has a royal warrant from the Queen and she drinks the brand herself in the morning with breakfast. Her favorite variety is English Breakfast, which she takes with milk and cookies on the side.
Twinings Tea, English Breakfast, 100 Count, $10 on amazon.com
As a child, Prince Harry once informed Princess Diana’s personal chef of the proper way to cook bacon: First, it should be broiled, then wrapped in paper towels, and microwaved for a minute so that it becomes “so crispy you can snap it.” Bacon-wrapped dates are an elevated way to pay homage to Prince Harry’s childhood taste buds.
Risotto with shrimp
The Royals’ former chef Enrico Derflingher says he often served Queen Victoria risotto, his own take on the rice dish served with shrimp and parmesan cheese, at state functions at Buckingham Palace. Our version of the recipe uses baked shrimp.
Not only is this Meghan Markle’s preferred dish to bring to dinner parties, it’s also the meal the couple cooked on the evening they became engaged. Our recipe calls for lemon zest, rosemary, and garlic.
Cadbury Crème Eggs
The Queen bestowed a royal warrant on Cadbury in 1955, although she’s reportedly more of a dark chocolate fan herself. Leave a dish of these chocolates on the table for your guests to snack on as a reference to one of the most popular chocolate companies in England.
Original Cadbury Creme Egg 12 Pack, $20 on amazon.com
Walkers shortbread cookies
These shortbread cookies are another snack with a stamp of approval from the royal family. In the United Kingdom, shortbread cookies are traditionally served alongside tea or coffee, and will the make the perfect accompaniment to the Twinings English Breakfast. You can always buy the royal family’s favorite brand or try making your own shortbread cookies from scratch.
Walkers Shortbread Fingers, $18 on amazon.com
Lemon elderflower cakes
Recently, Kensington Palace announced that the royal wedding cake will be baked by Violet Bakery founder Claire Ptak. The couple will serve a lemon elderflower cake, decorated with buttercream, at the wedding, instead of the traditional fruitcake. Since you probably can’t have one of Ptak’s cakes shipped to your front door, this “travel cake” version (a type of French dessert perfect for bringing to parties) uses lime juice and almonds, as well as elderflower.
Darren McGrady also revealed that although she was typically a healthy eater, Princess Diana did enjoy indulging in bread-and-butter pudding for dessert. Cheers to the groom's mother, and one of the most beloved members of the royal family, with our version, which is topped with lemon curd.