Meghan Markle and Prince Harry forced to return wedding gifts worth £7 million
Royals are forbidden to take gifts of high financial value in order to protect them from being exploited for commercial purposes
Anyone who's been to a friend's wedding will attest to the fact that it is quite difficult to select a wedding gift, especially if it's for a couple that 'has it all'.
However, for some of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding guests, all the effort put into finding the right gift was in vain. It has been reported that the royal couple would have to let go of most of their wedding gifts.
According to the Express, the Kensington Palace has received gift boxes from the royal wedding for the new Duke and Duchess from various companies and celebrities that have a combined estimated value of £7 million.
"Gifts offered by commercial enterprises in the UK should normally be declined, unless they are offered as a souvenir of an official visit to the enterprises' premises, to mark a Royal marriage or other special personal occasions. 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," according to the royal guidelines.
It also details that, "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."
Returning their wedding gifts also makes sense for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex since, prior to their wedding, the couple had specifically asked their guests to donate to a list of chosen charities close to their hearts instead of buying them any expensive presents.
And a lot of people actually did honor the couple's wish by donating instead of buying unnecessary gifts. One such donor was Canadian president Justin Trudeau.
On the day of their wedding, Trudeau issued a statement that the country will donate £29,000, which is roughly $50,000, to a youth charity called Jumpstart. The charitable organization is dedicated to making play and sports more accessible to children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
On the other hand, Jacinda Arden, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, confirmed to reporters that on behalf of their country, they would be making a sizeable donation of £2,500 to a charity that supports children and families of prisoners called Pillars.
Meghan and Harry are not the only royals who had to face the trying situation of having to return unsolicited presents. In the past, even Prince William and wife Kate Middleton had to go through the same ordeal.
As per reports, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have, till date, returned over £30 million, which roughly translates to $53 million, worth of free gifts, with most of these presents surrounding the birth of their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and, most recently, Prince Louis.