The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have returned some of the presents they received for their wedding estimated to be worth 7 million, after being inundated with packages and parcels at their Kensington Palace home.
Kensington Palace has strict rules about what the couple can receive.The official rules from Kensington Palace on receiving freebies from businesses say that Royals are NOT allowed to receive freebies from businesses or people they do not personally know, to prevent them being exploited for commercial purposes.
The guidelines state:
“Gifts offered by private individuals living in the UK not personally known to the Member of the Royal Family should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself.”
“When gifts are accepted, the consent of the Member of the Royal Family should be contingent upon the enterprise undertaking not to exploit the gift for commercial purposes.”
On the royal family’s official website, it also notes that the Queen cannot accept presents for security reasons, and the same can be assumed for other members of her family. The website states:
“For security reasons, the Correspondence Team are unable to accept any unsolicited gifts which are sent to The Queen.”
The couple tied the knot on Saturday 19 May in Windsor. Instead of gifts, the couple asked for charitable donations to be made to seven of their chosen charities:
CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association), homelessness charity Crisis, the Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, conservation charity Surfers against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
Many Countries have made donations to charities around the world. Kensington palace said:
“To celebrate their union, Canada will donate $50,000 to Jumpstart, a Canadian charity dedicated to making play and sports more accessible to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Since 2005, Jumpstart has helped more than 1.6 million children of all abilities get out on the field and be part of a team.”
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden told reporters that on behalf of the country, New Zealand was making a £2,500 ($5,000 NZ) donation to a charity the supports children and families of prisoners called Pillars.
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the country will make a donation to the Invictus Games charity, which is hosted in Sydney this year.
Some leaders and groups opted for alternative ways of giving a gift to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The French President Emmanuel Macron gave the Royal couple a bespoke piece from ST Dupont’s 007 collection in keeping with tradition as previous French leaders have given ST Dupont gifts for the Queen’s wedding as well as a wedding gift for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Taronga Zoo in New South Wales, Australia, revealed they will name two koalas after Prince Harry and Meghan as well as donating £2,800 ($5,000 Aus) to “preserving koala habitats”.
The zoo isn’t the only group to name an animal after the couple.
In India, the local Peta charity said they adopted a bull that was weak and injured on behalf of the newlyweds. They announced the bull is named Merry, which is a fusion of Meghan and Harry’s name.
In what would normally defy the couple’s wishes was a sentimental gift from the prince and princess of Lesotho. Prince Seesio is a close friend of Prince Harry and they have worked together on their children’s charity Sentebale and he and his wife gave the newlyweds Wonderbags.
The Wonderbags are portable, non-electric slow-cookers which help African families deal with fuel shortages and allow them for free time to pursue an education of a job.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have also returned to date more than £30 million worth of free gifts, many centred around the births of their three children.