Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘Forced’ to Return Wedding Gifts Worth $13 Million
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sent invitations to their royal wedding, there were specific instructions included in the mail, including the dress code, the cellphone ban, and a request for guests not to bring gifts but just donate to charities if they really wanted to give something to the bride and groom.
“It should be noted that gifts cannot be brought to St George’s Chapel or the Reception that follows at Windsor Castle. Guests are advised to seek further guidance on delivery arrangements or any gifts to Kensington Palace,” the palace wrote on the wedding invitations, as part of the guidelines.
Guests and well-wishers who still wish to give a gift are invited to simply send donations to the list of charities close to the newlyweds’ hearts.
Many complied with the guidelines.
For example, Canada through Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donated $50,000 to Jumpstart, a youth charity that aims to make sports and play available for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
On behalf of 1.6 M Jumpstart kids, thank you @JustinTrudeau & the Government of Canada for this contribution to @CTJumpstart in celebration of Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle’s #RoyalWedding! https://t.co/t6dFludGLi pic.twitter.com/37WS5wbnbK
— Jumpstart (@CTJumpstart) May 19, 2018
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that the country will donate $5,000 NZ ($3,500) to Pillars, a charity the supports children and families of prisoners.
Others had creative ways to give their gifts.
For example, Taronga Zoo in New South Wales, Australia not only donated $3,700 to a charity preserving koala habitats but also named two koalas after the newlyweds.
But as expected, a lot of people just don’t like following the rules and sent their gifts to the newly married couple.
Companies, celebrities, and private individuals from all over the world sent various gifts, flooding the Kensington Palace with what was estimated to be around $13 million worth of items.
While everyone else might be envious of that amount of gifts, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not allowed to receive these gifts. As part of the royal protocol, they are now ‘forced’ to return these gifts to the sender.
The royal guidelines state:
“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 occasion. 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.
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.”
Thus, most of the gifts have to be returned. The royals can’t also just donate the stuff to charity because that could easily be interpreted as still ‘accepting’ the gift, even if these were donated to the less fortunate.
If they received gifts worth a total of $13 million, everyone’s wondering how much the newlyweds’ chosen charities received but Kensington Palace has not revealed how donations the royal wedding had raised.