Churchill's wedding cake

Churchill’s wedding cake, 1908, WCHL 4/60

This splendidly over-decorated cake (and the decoration isn’t even finished yet), was made for the wedding of Winston Churchill to Clementine Hozier in 1908. It is actually on a postcard which the Archives Centre has recently been given, sent by the baker Alice Jaycock, along with a flyer listing all the other notables she’d made cakes for.

Reverse of Churchill's wedding cake photo

Unfortunately we know nothing about Mrs Jaycock, other than her address at Batsford Park, given in the flyer below. A landed family’s cook, Downton-style, doing a little work on the side, perhaps?

Baker's flyer

However, the real mystery doesn’t concern the cook, but what happened to the rest of the wedding photos. We have virtually nothing apart from a page from the society magazine the Sphere, shown below, and we believe that the photos were all destroyed by Clementine. It seems an extraordinary thing to do, particularly as by all accounts Clementine looked beautiful, in a dress of white satin, with an orange blossom coronet and a bouquet of white tuberoses. On the other hand, Winston’s suit was, according to the Tailor and Cutter magazine “… one of the greatest failures as a wedding garment we have ever seen, giving the wearer a sort of glorified coachman appearance.“, so maybe it was his feelings that Clementine was protecting!

The Sphere, 1908

The Sphere, 1908, CHAR 1/104/151

— Katharine Thomson

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