Members of the royal family are usually given gifts by royal fans whenever they are out on official engagements. But what actually becomes of all those gifts?
From flowers to toys and even baby shoes, the royals get them all. And Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been getting a lot of that as they tour Australia and Sydney.
Meghan was even given a carrot by one fan in Sydney and she was so shocked by it before excitedly telling Harry: “We’ve got veggies!”
The carrots were later pictured on the floor with other gifts given to the Duke and Duchess.
The gifts given to the royals at public engagements are classed as an “official gift”. Every single gift handed to any royal on an official engagement is recorded on a form.
If perishable gifts with a value of less than £150 – like the carrots Meghan was handed on Friday in Australia – are not to be personally used by the royal, then they may be given to charities or third parties to avoid waste.
Perishable gifts with a value over £150 which won’t be used by the royal recipient “should pass to charity”.
Non-perishable official gifts, when not used by the recipient or passed to charity, are stored – and once it’s in storage, things get a little bit more complicated…
These stored gifts are reviewed annually by a panel of experts from the Royal Household and Royal Collection, who consider each gift in terms of its national, historical, aesthetic or financial value.
Then they decide what happens to each gift, which can be: Kept in storage, Incorporated into the Royal Collection (upon curatorial advice), Loaned to a reputable and appropriate organisation, Donated to a registered charity, Destroyed if it is not to be retained, loaned or donated to charity.
Gifts falling into the first two categories are supposed to be retained for five years.
Individuals and organisations meeting the royal family on official engagements are discouraged from offering extravagant gifts.
It is not known what the couple will do with all the teddies and baby gifts they are being given. They might choose to keep some of them, but as there are so many it’s likely they’ll decide to give some to an appropriate charity so others can benefit from the generosity of their Australian fans