The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have had to return some of the presents they received for their royal wedding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who are on their honeymoon, were given $12m worth of unsolicited gifts from businesses, firms and celebrities, the Express reports. The couple were apparently inundated with packages and parcels at their Kensington Palace home, but have had to send everything back.
The reason is simple. 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."
On the royal family's official website, it also notes that Her Majesty 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."
Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, 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.
However, it later transpired that the couple had also set up a private gift list for their closest friends and family members. The Duke and Duchess curated a personal list with exclusive members' club, Soho House. The Sunday Times discovered the list, which reportedly contained a number of stunning home items, presumably to furnish their future house, the 21-room Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace.