Victoria Dawe/ Eden Communities/ Coronation Big Lunch
Have you heard the one about the Duke, the Dame and the Archbishops? A very special Coronation Big Lunch brought together faith leaders who were treated to one of the UK’s most famous dames telling its newest duke that he had ”no soggy bottom”.
For anyone who hasn’t seen The Great British Bake Off, there is no need to be alarmed. Dame Prue Leith used one of the show’s most famous catchphrases to praise the Coronation quiche presented to her by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Edward brought along one of the first examples of the quiche to be made after it was revealed as the pick of King Charles and Queen Camilla as the star of the street party table. All quiches need a pastry base and that’s where the ”soggy bottom” comes in. Many a Bake Off hopeful has been told their pastry hasn’t cooked underneath, leaving that ‘soggy bottom’. But the Duke of Edinburgh’s quiche, which he announced had been sent by King Charles and Queen Camilla straight from the kitchens at Buckingham Palace, got the Bake Off seal of approval.
It was served at a very special Coronation Big Lunch in the pretty gardens of Westminster Abbey where, in less than three weeks time, Their Majesties will be crowned.
Tens of thousands of Big Lunches will be held across the UK on the weekend of 6 May as part of the celebrations but as final preparations were made at the Abbey for the fortieth there Coronation since 1066, some of the UK’s faith leaders came together to share food and conversation. Many faith groups are organising big lunches to help bring people together to mark the Coronation.
The Westminster Abbey celebration brought together faith leaders from across the country including His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Archbishop of London, Coptic Orthodox Church and Bishop Paul McAleenan, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Roman Catholic Church. Also present were Manchandan Kaur Sandhu of the Sikh Network, Rabbi Rebecca Birk from Finchley Progressive Synagogue and the Venerable Bogoda Seelawimala, Head Priest of the London Buddhist Vihara and Chief Sangha Nayaka of Great Britain.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will crown King Charles. The Most Reverend Justin Welby said ”The Big Lunch is a wonderful part of the Coronation Weekend and beyond. When we share a meal, we see how much we have in common with others. Food is a major part of all faith traditions – it brings people together. For Christians, we remember that Jesus shared meals with so many different people because he knew it was a way of breaking down barriers.”
The Very Reverend David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, was host for the event. He said ”The Coronation is a moment when nations and Commonwealth can celebrate a shared history and imagine what renewed loyalties might achieve. It is a moment of celebration, but it is also a time to focus on the bonds of affection that bridge all difference.”
The Big Lunch began in 2009 as a way of bringing people together to share food and fun. There is a Big Lunch day every year and they have been linked to royal events in the past. Just last June, hundreds of thousands joined Big Lunch celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Queen Camilla is the patron of the Big Lunch, which is run by the Eden Project in Cornwall.
As well as being one of the judges on the Great British Bake Off, Dame Prue Leith is also an ambassador for the Big Lunch. As she tucked into the royal quiche, she said ”These very prestigious guests represent some of the diversity we see in our communities, and coming together today highlights that everyone is welcome at The Big Lunch table where they can meet and make new friends and share food with each other, whilst being part of a moment in our history.”
And she encouraged everyone to try their hand at making a Coronation quiche, praising it for including seasonal vegetables. The quiche contains spinach, tarragon and broad beans in a creamy, egg mix that’s baked with cheese.
There’s lots more information and a free pack to download to help organise a Coronation Big Lunch at the official website.