Jewellery, garden gnome, chocolate received by UK royal family last year

Some of the presents received by the British royal family last year were somewhat odd

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 11:04pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 11:04pm


Ornate jewellery, a garden gnome, a replica royal coach made from chocolate, a falconry glove and a subway travel card.

If anything, the breadth and sometimes eccentricity of gifts received by members of the royal household last year hints that more than a few hosts and visitors struggled for ideas of what to give the family that has it all. In the case of Queen Elizabeth, at least, most heads of state and other dignitaries appear to have fallen back on the safe option: jewels.

When Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates, arrived for a state visit in April, for example, he brought for his host a gold jewelled frame set on a jewelled ostrich egg. Four enamelled scarab beetles were the choice of the Bangladeshi high commissioner.

Slightly more unusual was the a chocolate version of Windsor Castle and an edible replica of the royal family's Irish state coach, which she received at the end of a royal visit to the Mars confectionary headquarters in Slough, southern England.

Tucked away somewhere in the royal wallet is a commemorative Oyster travel card presented to the queen during a visit to Baker Street tube station on the 150th anniversary of London Underground in March, although it remains unclear whether she has ever used it to swipe in at Green Park station, a short stroll from Buckingham Palace.

A highlight for Prince Charles may well have been the ceramic figurine and "framed animation" of him with the cartoon character Postman Pat, which was presented by a Jordanian digital content producer. Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also came away from their visit to Gulf states and Saudi Arabia in March with numerous boxes of toiletries and books.

From Saudi Arabia's high commission for the development of Riyadh, Charles received "21 brochures, seven DVDs and four books". In future, as Charles assumes many of the queen's formal overseas duties, he might be in line for a slightly higher calibre of gift.

Elsewhere, spare a thought for Prince Harry, who appears to have been pigeonholed as the sports-loving royal. Gifts received during his visit to the US in May included four baseball caps (the giver is listed as "individual"), polo shirts and rucksacks.