Why guests at Prince Louis' christening are eating 7-year-old cake

The royal family is recycling again, but this time it has nothing to do with re-wearing outfits.

Kensington Palace announced in a press release on Monday, July 9, that the cake served at Prince Louis’ christening, which was held at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London on Monday afternoon, is actually from seven years ago.

However, there’s actually a sweet reason why the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge elected to serve cake that’s much older than their 2-month-old son. Per British tradition, the confection served in little Louis’ honor on Monday is a tier of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s 2011 wedding cake.

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Prince Louis' christening
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Prince Louis' christening
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Princess Charlotte and Prince George hold the hands of their father, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, as they arrive at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London for the christening of their brother, Prince Louis, who is being carried by their mother, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis's christening at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis's christening at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
The Duke of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte after Prince Louis's christening at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge carries Prince Louis as they arrive for his christening service at St James's Palace on July 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex depart after attending the christening of Prince Louis at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis after Prince Louis's christening at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews arriving for the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arriving for the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London.
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, leave the chapel after the christening of Prince Louis at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
James Matthews arrives for the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews, arrive for the christening of Prince Louis, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain, July 9, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/Pool via REUTERS
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That regal dessert, which had eight tiers, was designed by Fiona Cairns and was made from 17 individual fruit cakes. Per the Kensington Palace press release, the cake was decorated with cream and white icing using the Joseph Lambeth technique, and there were up to 900 individually iced flowers and leaves of 17 different varieties decorated on the sweet treat.

The press release also notes that a garland design around the middle of the cake matched the architectural garlands decorated around the top of the Picture Gallery in Buckingham Palace – the room in which the cake was displayed during the wedding.

In other words, though Prince Louis’ cake has been on the planet longer than he has, it actually is quite meaningful to his parents. Furthermore, the cake was also served at Prince George’s christening in 2013, and then again when Princess Charlotte was christened in 2015.

As several Brits noted on Twitter, this custom is quite common in the UK. “It’s a strange tradition we have,” wrote one. “The top tier of the wedding cake is kept aside for any future christenings.”

Added another: “It’s a British custom. Fruitcake laced with enough brandy lasts until the end of the world.”

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