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Mary Berry Is Hosting a Baking Contest for the Queen and It’s Our ‘Great British Bake-Off’ Fantasy Come True

This just in from Buckingham Palace: In honor of Queen Elizabeth’s monumental reign (she celebrates 70 years on the throne on February 6), there will be a Great British Bake-Off-style competition for all—OK, those based in the U.K.—to enter. The kicker? It will be judged by the former queen of Bake-Off, the one and only Dame Mary Berry.

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Let’s back up for a sec—how did an event like this come to be? My co-host Roberta Fiorito and I share the context on the latest episode of the Royally Obsessed podcast. As we mentioned, this year marks a mega milestone for Queen Elizabeth. The festivities designed to toast the occasion come in the form of the much-anticipated (and first-ever) Platinum Jubilee, held in London in June. But amongst the palace-sanctioned celebrations, there’s one that stands out: The Platinum Pudding Competition, hosted in collaboration with Fortnum & Mason.

Here’s how the event will work: Anyone over the age of 8 is invited to submit their recipe for the best-ever Platinum pudding (a traditional—and popular—British dessert) for consideration with an entry deadline of February 4. There are also a couple of notes for participants. For one thing, the recipe should be sweet, not savory (“imagine your recipe being served with afternoon tea” the instructions read). You also have to be a U.K. resident to enter.

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From there, things get exciting. A judging panel that includes Mary Berry, MasterChef’s Monica Galetti and Buckingham Palace Head Chef Mark Flanagan are all on deck to help determine the winning entry. There’s also the promise on the Fortnum & Mason website that the winning entry will “be invited to be at the centre of the [Jubilee] celebrations.”

Does that mean the winner gets to meet the queen? Shake hands with Mary Berry? The best pudding will be announced on March 14, but only following a live bake-off event at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly, London where the top five entrants will bake their recipe for the judging panel. (No pressure.)

As a reminder, this isn’t the first time that Mary Berry has been in the presence of royalty. Let’s not forget A Berry Royal Christmas with Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2019 and the recent ceremony at the palace to make her damehood official, led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

On that note, may the best pudding win. (Just beware the soggy bottom.)

For more about the latest news on the royal family, listen to the Royally Obsessed podcast with co-hosts Rachel Bowie and Roberta Fiorito. Subscribe now or follow us on Instagram @royallyobsessedpodcast.