SPECULATION about the Royal Wedding cake is reaching fever pitch as the big day draws nearer.

But one man will have more interest than most – he’ll be comparing the masterpiece to cakes he crafted for the weddings of Princess Margaret, Charles and Diana, Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and for the Queen’s Golden Wedding anniversary.

Eddie Spence, from Stourview Place, Southbourne, left school at 14 for an apprenticeship at Mackies in Edinburgh and one of his first jobs was helping decorate the Queen’s wedding cake in 1947.

“I worked in the bakery, that was where the young apprentices started,” he remembers. “I had to go up to the decorators’ room, where they were doing the cake, with some egg whites and I had to hand-beat the icing.”

It was the first of many Royal cakes Eddie was to play a part in.

Eddie was soon put in charge of the wedding cake room at Mackies, where he later designed and decorated one of the cakes used for Princess Margaret’s wedding in 1960.

When Mackies was sold he worked for a baker’s in Derby before joining Mary Ford’s Cake Artistry Centre in Southbourne Grove, Southbourne during the 1970s.

His next big job came in the form of Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981.

“When Charles and Diana were getting married I designed a cake,” said Eddie, now 78.

“I delivered it to Buckingham Palace in a Rolls Royce. The main cake was done by the Navy, but you would send in saying that you could like to do a cake for them and then they accept you.

“You don’t do it for a profit, it’s more for the prestige.”

Eddie joined forces with Mark Bennett, of Bennett’s bakers to create a cake for Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding in 1986.

But it was the Queen’s Golden Wedding in 1997 which saw the highlight of Eddie’s career, when he designed, made and hand-delivered the one and only cake used for the occasion.

“I just wrote off and asked if I could do it,” he remembers.

“It doesn’t look very big in the pictures, but the bottom tier was a one-and-a-half hundred weight.

“When I took the cake to the palace, my wife sent a letter to the Queen as the garden party was on the same day as my 65th birthday, asking if I could have a cup of tea.

“I got a letter back from the Master of the Household saying the Queen had passed him the letter and that she hadn’t seen it until after I‘d left the palace.”

The letter, which was addressed to Eddie’s wife, went on to say the Queen had been “delighted” with the cake and the Master of the Household added that she had “much admired your husband’s skill, he is a true crafsman”.

Three years later he received an MBE from the Queen for services to the Sugarcraft Guild and Industry.

These days, Eddie spends his time teaching at Eastleigh College, and as an international judge and demonstrator.

In fact, it was only a recent trip to Kuala Lumpur that stopped him becoming involved with a cake for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29, as he caught a bug while abroad.

“I got a phone call about a cake for Kate and William’s wedding from a large bakery,” he said.

“I had been off work for eight weeks because of this bug.

“They asked if I could help with the cake, but I said I was only happy to be a consultant because even the drawings can take several days.

“But the palace said they wanted a private company to do it.”

Eddie, who appears this afternoon on Fern Britton’s new Channel 4 show, Fern, remains philosophical about his cake-making.

“I always say if you enjoy what you do, you never have to work. And I’ve never had to work,” he said.