The Palace has released it’s annual account of the gifts received by members of the Royal Family in the past 12 months, and it’s quiet a collection! The list includes fairy dust, given to Prince Charles in New Zealand, salt given to The Queen by the Governor of the British Virgin Islands, and three sapphire brooches to add to Her Majesty’s collection.
Gifts from well-wishers, as well as official presents handed over by Heads of State and diplomats are included on the list. Prince Charles and Camilla were inundated with gifts for Princess Charlotte when they toured Australia and New Zealand in November: The Prince of Wales received baby booties, a wooden rattle, an organic wool hat, a vest and blanket for his granddaughter. Prince George, meanwhile, was offered a woollen tank top.
In Ireland, the couple were given two giant lollipops, and ceramic money boxes for George and Charlotte. But the strangest on the list by far is fairy dust! This appears to be a gift for George and Charlotte.
Other gifts for the Cambridge children were soft toys, a silver bracelet, wooden toys, and a painting of a Samurai helmet, gifted in Japan to Prince William. In China, George got toy phones, cards and toy aeroplanes. The Countess of Wessex was given a brooch and puppets to pass on to her great-niece and nephew.
Official gifts can be worn and used, but are not considered to be personal property of the individual it was given to. Foods can be eaten, and if a perishable gift has a value of less than £150, it can also be given to charity or staff. Gifts cannot be sold or exchanged and eventually become part of the Royal Collection, held in trust by the Sovereign for the nation.
The Queen received a bumper number of presents: whilst on a State Visit to Germany last year, President Joachim Gauck gifted a marzipan version of the Brandenburg Gate.
In Malta for CHOGM in November, Her Majesty was the recipient of a new handbag, by Charles & Ron, a Maltese Company – but her black Launer bags are one of her Trademarks, so it is unlikely we will see it on her arm anytime soon. The Maltese President also recevied a painting ofher former home on the Island, Villa Guardamangia.
Other gifts during 2015 included a bag of salt from the Governor of the British Virgin Islands. The 1lb bag is given to the British Monarch every year as rent for Salt Island.
The Ecuadorian ambassador gave a floral gift – a selection of pink and red roses – while the President of Kazakhstan opted for something more impressive: a white and gold decorated tea Service.
Adding to her collection of brooches was the Sri Lankan President, giving The Queen a sapphire fern brooch, while HMS Ocean, which The Queen wore visiting the naval ship last year, proffered a Trident brooch with sapphires. Lastly came a diamante brooch from the Queen’s Royal Lancers.
Michelle Obama gave Her Majesty a limited edition Tiffany sterling silver honeycomb and bee bud vase, lemon verbena tea, a candle and two small pots of honey, and a jar of honey butter from the White House Kitchen Garden. These were sent to Buckingham Palace from the American Embassy following her visit to London in June.
Prince Philip received a Chopard clock and set of cufflinks, as well as a Cartoon of the taxi he drives around Windsor Castle.
Popular Royal Prince Harry was the recipient of chocolate, Jaffa Cakes, Marmite and Weetabix when he was in New Zealand… the Kiwi people must think he needs feeding! Barack Obama gave the redhaired Prince a mantle clock during his visit to Washington.
The Duke of York was given a cigarette case, while Prince Edward and Sophie were gifted pearl cufflinks and earrings in 2015.
Given to Princess Anne was a rhino hairpin – perhaps one of the most unusual on the list.