TheKnotNewsApi

A Florida Man Has Been the Proud Owner of a Piece of Princess Diana’s Wedding Cake For Over 36 Years

UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 29: On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana SPENCER (aged 19) married Prince CHARLES (aged 32) at Buckingham Palace. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

A Florida man is so enamored with the memory of Princess Diana that he owns $500,000 worth of memorabilia to remind him of the royal—including a piece of cake from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, John Hoatson acquired the cake after slivers of the five-tier confection were offered as a keepsake. Hoatson, 44, who has more than 13,000 Princess Di keepsakes in his Fort Lauderdale home, says the cake is his favorite piece. “It’s fruitcake. It will never get old,” he told the publication. “It’s preserved by the air.”

A boxed slice of wedding cake, from the British Royal wedding of Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and his first wife Diana, collected by Leonard Massey, the former first chauffeur to Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, is displayed at the Stafford Hotel in London on June 5, 2015, ahead of its auction in Beverly Hills, US, on June 27. Slices from the cakes of five British royal weddings dating back up to 42 years have been put up for auction -- accompanied by a health warning that they are "not suitable for consumption". AFP PHOTO/ BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

A boxed slice of wedding cake, from the British Royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and his first wife Diana, collected by Leonard Massey, the former first chauffeur to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, is displayed at the Stafford Hotel in London on June 5, 2015, ahead of its auction in Beverly Hills, US, on June 27. Slices from the cakes of five British royal weddings dating back up to 42 years have been put up for auction — accompanied by a health warning that they are “not suitable for consumption”. AFP PHOTO/ BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Hoatson is intent on preserving history and Princess Diana’s story. At only eight years old, he fell in love with the royal while watching the televised wedding. “She was the prettiest person in the world,” he recalled. “I followed her entire life. I loved her humanitarian work. I had a photo of her on my nightstand throughout college.”

Along with the now-infamous cake, Hoatson owns prewedding tokens as well. “[Diana] was a huge card writer,” he noted. “I have an engagement letter from right after she was engaged to Charles. It’s signed ‘Lady Diana.’”

(FILE PHOTO)  In this composite image a comparison has been made between the Royal Wedding cakes of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer and that of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.(Left image)  Chief petty officer cook David Avery with the royal wedding cake made for Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding, 29th July 1981. (Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)(Right image) LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Fiona Cairns stands next to the Royal Wedding cake that she and her team at Fiona Cairns Ltd of Leicestershire made for Prince William and Catherine Middleton in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in central London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding and street parties are being held throughout the UK.  (John Stillwell-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between the Royal Wedding cakes of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer and that of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.(Left image) Chief petty officer cook David Avery with the royal wedding cake made for Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, 29th July 1981. (Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)(Right image) LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 29: Fiona Cairns stands next to the Royal Wedding cake that she and her team at Fiona Cairns Ltd of Leicestershire made for Prince William and Catherine Middleton in the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in central London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding and street parties are being held throughout the UK. (John Stillwell-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

It has taken Hoatson many years to build his collection, and he has no plans to sell his most prized possessions. After Diana’s death in 1997, he started writing letters to people who knew the princess, asking for signatures and remembrances. From there, his collection grew. “I think it helps that people know I’m not going to sell any of it. That’s not what this is about,” he explained.

What’s next for the collector? A trip overseas. “I’m really hoping I can travel to England later this month for the anniversary,” he concluded. “I went in 1996, and tried so hard to track her down so I could see her somewhere, but I never did. Buckingham Palace has her desk on display. I’d want to see that.”

About the Author

Kelly Spears
Kelly Spears
Kelly is an online news writer for The Knot. She is a professional writer who studied English at Ohio State University. Kelly is a big fan of TLC's '90 Day Fiance' and FYI's 'Married at First Sight.'