When is a slice of toast worth $360? When said slice of toast is a modern bit of history, it would appear.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer married in one of the most opulent and high-profile weddings the world had seen at the time of the fete, in 1981. The massive spectacle was aired globally and more than 750 million people watched as the pair wed in London, in the presence of monarchs and heads of state from all over the world.
The wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana also spawned a cottage industry of kitsch and a tabloid frenzy, and the affair proved to be a huge point of interest for fans both in the UK and outside. Which is why a piece of toast nicked from outside the bedroom of Prince Charles the morning before he married Diana has recently been auctioned, fetching a few hundred bucks from a collecter.
So how had the toast been collected, and where has it been for 31 years? It seems security was not as tight in the very early 80’s as it is today, or that the Brits have some sort of auto-regard for mothers that allowed the toast to be lifted from Charles’ tray. (Spare cake was provided to certain military men after the wedding, two slices per — one for the man himself, and one for his mother.)
A chambermaid dutied with removing Prince Charles’ breakfast tray brought her mother along to work the day of the wedding, as you do, and it seems her mum snatched the bit of neglected toast from the tray as a memento of the big day. Rosemarie Smith is now 83, and she explains how she came into possession of the Royal Toast:
“At the time my daughter was a maid at the palace and one of her duties was to collect Prince Charles’ breakfast tray from outside his room… I was with her in the corridor and saw that Prince Charles had left some toast on the tray. I had been thinking about a keepsake from the wedding and saw the toast and thought to myself: “Why not?”‘
It was only after the subsequent high-profile wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton that Smith realized she could cash in on her 30-year-old toast, and she offered the bit of bread to the highest bidder. After a telephone auction, it sold to a UK bidder.