March 25, 2011 at 15:27 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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The Marie biscuit, as I am sure everyone knows, is named after Marie Alexandrovna, the daughter of Czar Alexander II of Russia and wife of Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria.

Such was the excitement over the 1874 royal wedding between Marie and Alfred that bakers Peek Frean created this biscuit and named it after her. Apparently Marie was quite a sensation, insisting on being called ‘Her Imperial Highness’ and generally lording it over the then Princess of Wales (much to the annoyance of Queen Victoria).

Now I have to say that either the excitement over Marie was not really up to how it is described in the history books, or else Queen Victoria was determined to snub her and had a work with Mr Peek (or perhaps Mr Frean) . What else can explain why, when commemorating such an memorable royal wedding, that Peek Frean created such a boring biscuit? Just a plain old flour-and-vegetable-oil affair, with nothing more than a hint of vanilla to add some interest. I mean it’s OK, and perfectly adequate as a snack. But as a way of commemorating someone who was simultaneously a Russian Grand Duchess, a British Royal Duchess and a Sovereign German Duchess it seems pretty mean – just a few swirls around the edge to give it a regal air.

I’m going to give this biscuit five out of ten, including a bonus point for historical significance.

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