From baby booties to fairy dust - royal gifts revealed


The Prince of Wales received armfuls of presents for his grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte during his official travels last year.

Well-wishers gave the proud grandfather everything from practical gifts like baby booties and a wooden rattle to two giant lollipops.

And Charles received what is probably one of his most unusual presents - a packet of fairy dust when in New Zealand.

The items were named among a list of official gifts received by members of the Royal Family during royal engagements both at home and abroad during 2015.

During Charles and Camilla's visit to New Zealand in November they were given a pair of booties, an organic wool hat, a vest and blanket for Charlotte by an unnamed individual.

David Carter, the speaker of the New Zealand parliament, presented the royal couple with a woollen poncho for Charlotte and a woollen tank top for George.

There were more gifts for the children when the couple visited the Republic of Ireland in May last year.

A member of the public presented two giant lollipops and a ceramic money box for each of the children, while an unnamed individual gave a wooden rattle for the baby princess.

Official gifts can be worn and used, but are not considered the royals' personal property. The royals do not pay tax on them.

They can eat any food they are given and perishable official gifts with a value less than £150 can also be given to charity or staff.

Gifts cannot be sold or exchanged and eventually become part of the Royal Collection, which is held in trust by the Queen for her successors and the nation.

The rules on official presents were tightened following the Peat inquiry in 2003 into the sale of royal gifts and the running of St James's Palace.

During her state visit to Germany, the Queen was given a Brandenburg Gate - one of Berlin's most important monuments - made out of marzipan. It was a present from President Joachim Gauk.

The Maltese prime minister tapped into one of the monarch's favourite accessories by giving her a black handbag.

The Queen is known to favour her Launer bags, but may opt to use her new one by Charles & Ron - a contemporary brand based in Malta.

She was also given a framed watercolour of Villa Guardamangia - her much-loved former home in Malta.

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 - one of the islands in the Caribbean archipelago.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup organisers gifted the first rugby ball of the World Cup in London.

Ecuadorian ambassador Carlos Abad Ortiz came to Buckingham Palace bearing a selection of pink and red roses, while the President of Kazakhstan gave a white and gold decorated tea service which included a sugar bowl, six cups and six saucers.

The monarch was also presented with a sapphire and diamond brooch in the shape of a fern by the Sri Lankan president, a sapphire and silver brooch from HMS Ocean, a Royal Navy amphibious assault ship and helicopter carrier, featuring 12 of the jewels and depicting three tridents rising from the waves, and a diamante brooch from the Queen's Royal Lancers.

US first lady Michelle Obama gave the Queen a limited edition Tiffany sterling silver honeycomb and bee bud vase, as well as a gift box containing lemon verbena tea, a candle and two small pots of honey and a jar of honey butter from the White House Kitchen Garden.

Mrs Obama sent the gifts via the American Embassy when she visited the UK in June last year to promote the Let Girls Learn initiative.

Charles was given two baby comforters, thought to be for Charlotte who was only a few weeks old at the time, by a member of the public during his trip to Ireland last spring.

Arab royalty are known for their lavish gifts and during a tour of the Middle East in February the Prince was presented with a gentleman's wristwatch by the Crown Prince of Kuwait.

When Charles and Camilla visited America last March, President Barack Obama gave the Prince a pair of cufflinks and a pen, while the First Lady gave the Duchess a basket of honey products.