The Strangest Gifts Given to Royals
The British royal family receives numerous gifts from friends, fans, and dignitaries. Unfortunately, they only get to keep some gifts because all the presents technically belong to the United Kingdom and not the individual members of the royal family.
Royals can eat edible gifts and donate food gifts worth less than $200 to charity or staff members. Every year, the royal family publishes a list of gifts they receive. Some are traditional, and some are really, really weird. Read on to see some of the strangest gifts they’ve been given…
Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Got A Giant Cabbage For Her 61st Birthday
When Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, visited the Organic Allotment in St. James’s Park in London, England, in 2008, they got a very unexpected gift. Camilla, who was celebrating her 61st birthday, was gifted a giant cabbage when visiting the Dig For Victory allotment.
As we mentioned previously, the royal family is allowed to keep edible gifts, so it’s likely that Camilla and Charles had some very tasty salads over the following few days.
Prince Charles Got One Ton Of Quality Peat For His Gloucestershire Estate
Prince Charles has a keen interest in agriculture, and a local village council in Somerset, southwest England, came up with an inventive gift for him when he married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. The council decided to give the prince one ton of high-quality peat that he could use on his Gloucestershire estate.
Fortunately, the newlyweds received many traditional gifts as well, which we’re sure Diana appreciated. This included items such as jewelry, painting, a four-poster bed, and a Cartier clock.
William & Kate Received A Totem Pole When They Visited Canada
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, were presented with a small totem pole when they watched a cultural welcome during the Royal Tour of Canada in September 2016 in Carcross, Canada. The couple spent eight days visiting the country and places such as Bella Bella, Whitehorse, and Kelowna.
They also received a T’aaGuu, which is “a symbol of power and provision, fashioned from a sheet of copper” from the Haida First Nation. The Haida are known for producing incredible artwork, including totem poles, ornate jewelry, and Chilkat weaving products.
Prince Harry Has Received Several Stuffed Kangaroos & Koala Bears
This photo shows Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding a plush kangaroo and pair of baby slippers. They were conversing with Australia’s Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lynne Cosgrove at Admiralty House on Oct. 16, 2018, in Sydney, Australia.
The couple spent 16 days as part of their autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand. During his work with the Invictus Games, Harry once received a soft toy kangaroo key ring and a stuffed koala bear from a member of the public.
Queen Elizabeth Has Been Given Sloths, Beavers & An Elephant
Princess Elizabeth received a corgi called Susan on her 18th birthday from her parents. The dog was a bit persnickety and had a tendency to bite people, including a policeman, the royal clock winder, and a Grenadier guard. Still, Elizabeth really loved that dog and has owned many corgis since.
The queen has received numerous other animal gifts over the years, including two sloths from Brazil, two beavers from Canada, and an elephant called Jumbo from Cameroon. She didn’t keep any of these animals as pets. Instead, she sent them to the London Zoo for proper care.
Prince Harry Was Gifted Two Macaws During A Visit To The Caribbean
In 2016, Prince Harry made an official visit to the Caribbean where someone gave him two macaws and a clay model canoe. The photo shows Harry talking to a parrot named Polly while visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines Botanic Gardens in Kingstown.
Harry’s visit coincided with the 35th Anniversary of Independence in Antigua and Barbuda and the 50th Anniversary of Independence in Barbados and Guyana. You can tell by the photo that Harry has an affinity for birds, so it’s a shame that he couldn’t keep the macaws for himself.
Elton John Gave Prince Andrew & Sarah Ferguson A Special Gift
Although this hasn’t officially been confirmed, it’s believed that Elton John gave Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson a particularly heartfelt present on their wedding day in 1986. The singer reportedly wrote an original song dedicated to the royal couple.
John had been very close to the royal family for many years, so it’s no surprise that he wanted to give them something very special on their special day. In 1981, John performed at Andrew’s 21st birthday party. He also sang at his bachelor party. No word on whether he wrote special songs for those occasions too.
The British Cabinet Gave Princess Anne & Her Husband A Rug
In 1973, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter Princess Anne married Captain Mark Philips. The members of the British Cabinet decided they wanted to collectively work together and come up with an interesting gift idea. Each member of the cabinet contributed an equal amount of money to get them a rug.
Anne wrote a personal thank you card to each and every member of the cabinet. However, they were slightly embarrassed after finding out that President Nixon and the United States gave the princess a crystal bowl and gold candlesticks. Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Sir Robert Armstrong noted, “This makes an old Persian rug look pretty crumby.”
British Citizens Gave Elizabeth Homegrown Apples & Pineapples For Her Wedding
When members of the royal family get married, the public at large also likes to get involved in the festivities. One way is by giving them gifts. When Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip in the late ’40s, the country was coping with rationing because food supplies were low.
As a result, one royal fan gave Elizabeth a box of apples. Another entity also sent the couple 500 tins of pineapple. The couple received a variety of gifts, including handbags, alcohol, and nylon stockings.
Queen Victoria Once Received A Giant Wheel Of Cheese
Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert in 1840, and one of the most unusual gifts they received was a giant wheel of cheese. Actually, it was the largest one in British history and weighed 1,000 pounds. The wheel measured over nine feet across and was made from the milk of 750 cows.
Villages in Somerset, southwest England, crafted the cheese wheel, and a song was even written about the occasion with lyrics such as: “The Pennard men then built a cheese/ The like was never seen!” and ‘Twas made, and press’d, and fit to please Our gracious lady Queen!”
Prince George Received A Possum Skin Cloak
Prince George, William and Kate’s first-born son, has received hundreds of gifts since he was born in 2013. The six-year-old has been gifted numerous traditional toys such as stuffed animals, but some gift-givers have gotten particularly creative over the years. He received a possum skin cloak from Australia and a miniature amphibious boat from New Zealand.
George celebrated his birthday over the summer with his family on the private island of Mustique. According to a family friend, George is a “jolly little person and inquisitive.”
Dignitaries From The British Virgin Islands Gave The Queen A Big Bag Of Purple Salt For Her 90th
When Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 90th birthday, some people were stumped when it came to gift ideas. However, a few creative souls came up with some one-of-a-kind ideas, and we must say they were very unusual. She received a pair of young red deer stags, a pair of drum sticks, and a large bag of purple salt from the British Virgin Islands.
She also got some not-so-strange gifts, including a painted ostrich egg, a tartan travel rug, a silver post-it note holder, a limited-edition Monopoly set, and a chest of wine.
The Obamas Gave The Queen An iPod That Included The President’s Inauguration Speech
In April 2009, President Obama and the first lady gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod that came pre-loaded with speeches from the president, including his inauguration speech. Interestingly, it wasn’t the first iPod she owned. However, it’s unlikely that her original music device contained several speeches from various world leaders.
The Queen recently came to the rescue when a five-year-old girl Australian accidentally left her toy monkey at Buckingham Palace. Staff from her kindergarten class asked the Queen if they could search for the monkey, which they did. They mailed it back with a toy corgi — a not-so-unusual gift for a little girl.
Princess Anne Gave Brother Charles A Leather Toilet Seat
The royal family is known for giving each other strange gifts during the holidays. This is one Christmas tradition we can get behind. No matter how privileged they are, the royal family, like commoners, must sit on the throne (you know, the one in the bathroom). And Princess Anne came up with the perfect idea for her brother Charles.
Anne reportedly gave him a white leather toilet seat. Even though it was a joke, Charles apparently liked it so much that he brings it with him every time he travels overseas.
An Australian Organization Gifted Princess Elizabeth With The Ingredients For Her Wedding Cake
This photo shows Miss Anderton, general secretary of Imperial headquarters, receiving the ingredients for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding cake at the Australian Girl Guides Association headquarters in London in 1947. Three Australian Girl Guides presented the ingredients as a gift for the future Queen of England.
Every girl in the Australian Girl Guides Association contributed to the cake. They decided to make the contribution due to food shortages and felt the royal family would appreciate the gesture.
Prince Harry Gave His Grandmother A Snarky Shower Cap
As we previously mentioned, the royal family is very fond of giving one another comedic gifts during the holidays. The best joke gifts are ones that you can actually use, so Prince Harry came up with a pretty good idea when he was hunting something down for his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth.
During one festive holiday, Harry reportedly gave the queen a shower cap with the word “Ain’t life a b—h” written on it. The only thing we regret is not seeing the look on the queen’s face when she received such a thoughtful present.
The Duchess Of Sussex Gave The Queen A Singing Hamster
The Duchess of Sussex, a fairly new member of the royal family, has already gotten into the spirit of holiday gift-giving with the royal household. She certainly had to come up with something good because the bar has been set so high. She searched high and low for something to impress the queen, and she struck gold.
Not long after she got engaged to Prince Harry, Megan reportedly gave the queen a singing toy hamster, which the queen absolutely loved and made her laugh uncontrollably.
Kate Middleton Presented Prince Harry With A Very Unique Gift
Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge have been friends for a long time. And it’s important for a guy to like his brother’s wife because you spend a lot of time with your in-laws, particularly when you’re part of the British royal family. What’s great about Kate is she likes joking around every now and then.
During one holiday Kate reportedly gave Harry a “Grow Your Own Girlfriend” kit. This happened way before he met Meghan, and we all know that Harry had a tough time settling down in his younger days.
Kate’s Brother Gave The Couple A Cocker Spaniel
While we haven’t seen William and Kate’s dog in public in quite some time, the couple adopted a black English Cocker Spaniel named Lupo back in 2012. The dog was given to the couple by Kate’s brother James. Lupo is derived from the Italian word for wolf. Kate reportedly named the dog after her great-grandmother Olive Christiana Middleton Lupton.
The dog provided Kate much-needed company while William served in the Royal Air Force and was deployed to the Falkland Islands. After they adopted Lupo, interest in Cocker Spaniels increased significantly in the United Kingdom.
London’s Mayor Gave Prince William & His Wife A Bicycle Built For Two
In 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot. Boris Johnson, who used to be the mayor of London and is now the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, gave the pair a tandem bike. It was in honor of the city’s bike-share program. “I look forward to seeing the newlyweds on tandem wheels as they start their new life in Anglesey,” he explained.
Unfortunately, not a single photographer has captured the couple riding the bike. Still, tandem bikes are pretty cool. The photo above shows a couple in London in 1952 riding a tandem bike with an extra section attached containing their two children.