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Queen Elizabeth II sent a tier of her wedding cake to Australia in 1947. Who ate it?

For people still reeling from the ravages of World War II, who hadn't seen an iced cake in years, it was the stuff of dreams.

The four-tier wedding cake of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten stood 2.7 metres high, weighed 220 kilograms and was decorated with ornate scenes from the future Queen's life.

After Prince Philip cut the alcohol-laced fruitcake with his sword, an entire layer was sent to Australia.

But what happened to it next?

Could an opulent slice of history be in a Tupperware container, still stashed away in the back of someone's freezer?

To find the answer, we have to go back to the beginning, and why Australia was gifted the cake in the first place.

The '10,000-mile cake'

When the November 20, 1947 wedding took place, severe food rationing was still in place in Britain.

The ingredients for the towering masterpiece were sent from across the British Empire — earning it the "10,000-mile cake" nickname.

It had butter from New Zealand, flour from Canada, rum from Jamaica, sugar from Barbados, a little brandy from South Africa.

The Australian Girl Guides, who counted Elizabeth as an active member, also chipped in.

They provided the dried fruit for the cake — including close to 30kg of sultanas, 6kg of currants and 5kg of crystallised cherries.

All up, they shipped seven crates of produce on August 13, 1947. The stockpile was delivered to the cake's bakers, McVitie and Price, in England.

After the wedding, in which two former Guides served as bridesmaids, the happy couple sent a tier back to Australia as a way of saying thanks.

It was divvied up between Girl Guides branches in each state.

Who got a part of the cake?

It's a wistful and tempting thought to imagine that it's still out there somewhere, but the truth is a little more grounded in reality: it was eaten.

In Victoria, it was savoured by Guides in the Extension Branch — for girls with a disability, of which there were many due to polio epidemics before and during the war.

It was sent there in part because the group was small enough that everyone could have a taste.

"It has been decided to present the cake to the Extension Branch, where the number of Guides will probably allow each member to sample it," reads a 1948 article in the Guides' Matilda magazine.

"I am sure we shall all enjoy it in spirit with them."

Let them have cakes

The Girl Guides weren't the only Australian group to zero in on the wedding cake when thinking of a gift for the royal couple.

The Country Women's Association had the "unique honour" of sending a finished cake, made with fruit supplied by the RSL's Renmark branch.

Their "supplementary" cake — one of around a dozen to appear at the wedding — was made in Sydney by the head chef at David Jones.

Each of its six tiers carried the name of an Australian state, and there was also other symbolism at play.

"The cake, which contains the Australian coat-of-arms on each of its four sides, is beautifully decorated with sprigs of silver bracken fern, wedding bells and a spray of white flowers in a silver vase on top," The Land newspaper reported in 1974.

A piece of wedding cake was also sent to the Overseas League in New South Wales, where it went on display and was touched by many members "for luck", the Sydney Morning Herald revealed.

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