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Duke of Cambridge given Villa cake at University College
University College Birmingham presents the Duke with sugar-crafted football kit for Prince George.
29th Nov 2013
Duke of Cambridge given Villa cake at University College


The football-loving Duke of Cambridge was today given an early Christmas present for his son, Prince George - a sugar-crafted Aston Villa kit.

Villa supporter Prince William was given the miniature baby kit, made from sugar and icing, during a private visit to University College Birmingham.

The replica set, comprising a Villa babygrow, a crested shirt and football boots, all decorated in the club's claret and blue colours, was presented to the Prince together with a spectacular "toybox" celebration cake made especially for baby George.

The replica kit and the colourful cake, featuring popular storybook characters and Villa motifs, were made by lifelong Villa fan Dawn Gemmell, assistant dean at University College Birmingham (UCB).

Prince William inspected the cake and said he wanted it carefully delivered to his home in a metal container to keep it safe.

He loved the Aston Villa connections on the cake and was delighted with the baby kit for Prince George, telling Dawn: "That's really, really good."

Dawn, who is also head of bakery at UCB's renowned College of Food and was helped by students, said: "I am delighted to have made a mini football kit for Prince William, a fellow Villa fan, to give to his son.

"It would be the icing on the cake if George becomes a Villa fan as well. He will always be welcome at the Holte End, just like his dad."

Prince William was presented with the cake by bakery student Lauren Kendall, 17, and Caroline Lane, president of the Student Union.

Earlier, the Prince spent time chatting to 12 students in the university's Atrium restaurant over a hot and cold buffet lunch.

The Atrium is run by further and higher education students, under the guidance of chef lecturers and food service and hospitality staff.

Following lunch, Prince William was presented with the beautifully decorated cake, which is guarded on its four corners by toy Coldstream Guards.

Dawn has baked cakes for three generations of the Royal family - for George and his father Prince William and George's grandfather, Prince Charles.

Dawn baked a huge iced fruit cake on behalf of the Prince's Trust for Prince Charles' 40th birthday.

She said: "I am very proud to have made celebration cakes for three generations of royals - for Prince Charles and now Prince William and his son Prince George. It was a real honour to be asked to make the cake. It's our way of saying, 'Hello George. Welcome to the world. We love you."

The cake features a Christmas cake recipe by Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry.

It incorporates popular nursery rhymes, hand-moulded, sugar-crafted animals and colourful storybook characters such as Noddy and Sooty.

The detail of the sugar work and icing is remarkable: Noddy is holding a little sign saying, "Keep calm and carry on - because we love you Daddy."

On the top of the eight-inch tall cake, Noddy is joined by wild animals, such as an elephant and a lion, representing Prince William's support of nature conservation.

The Prince is president of the United for Wildlife project and the cake's pink elephant has a banner reading: "Save the elephant."

Prince William's sweet-tooth, and love of chocolate in particular, gets a visual check courtesy of The Chocolate Brownie Express, which pulls six carriages, including one laden with brownies, around the base of the cake.

Prince William is also president of the Football Association and a mini England shirt is attached to the cake - in addition to a second pair of Villa boots.

Dawn used three six-inch square fruit cakes, layered with marzipan, to create the central structure.

To this she attached four plaques, made of pastillage, a thick sugar paste, which were used as the sides for the toybox.

The plaques feature hand-painted royal icing representing four nursery rhymes: The Grand Old Duke of York; Old King Cole; Pat a Cake; and The Queen of Hearts.

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