Everyone knows that the Royal Family must abide by a series of strict rules and codes of conduct at all times, whether that is adhering to specific protocol, attending events or arriving in a certain order.
While those seem enough to remember, there is another rule that affects Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
During her impressive 96 years, the late Queen visited over 120 countries and made countless visits in and around the UK. On every engagement she was gifted several weird and wonderful presents, much like other members of her family – including the Prince and Princess of Wales.
As kind as these gestures are, there is a strict rule which means any gift that is handed over to the Royals during a visit does not automatically belong to them and the monarch has the right to decide what to do with it.
When it comes to gift-giving, the Royal Family are famous for buying one another gag gifts. Previous purchases have included a leather toilet seat, a singing hamster, a 'grow-your-own girlfriend' kit and a shower cap that read 'Ain't life a b****'.
But other gifts that are given to the Royal Family during trips, tours and engagements are governed by a different set of rules. The Royals have a seven-page handbook on presents – when they can accept them, when they must reject or return them and how they are recorded.
These rules mean that anything that is handed over automatically belongs to the monarch and will not be owned by that member of the family unless they themselves accede to the throne.
Therefore, all of the teddy bears and sweet presents that were sent to the palace or handed to Prince William and Kate when George, Charlotte and Louis were born still belong to King Charles. The rule doesn't extend to any birthday or Christmas presents exchanged within the family.
The Royal Family's own rules explain: "Gifts are defined as official when received during an official engagement or duty or in connection with the official role or duties of a member of The Royal Family." This includes anything handed over during a walkabout or during official visits within the UK and overseas from members of the public.
The guidance says: "Official gifts are not the private property of the Member of The Royal Family who receives them but are instead received in an official capacity in the course of official duties in support of, and on behalf of The King."
Even after the gift has been given, there is strict process for how they are handled after the engagement. All gifts must be registered on an official 'gift received form" – which is simply a record of everything that has been given to the royals.
These gifts extend to the countless bunches of flowers that are handed over to the likes of the Queen, the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh every year. But what happens to them?
According to Keith Roy with the Monarchist League of Canada, the flowers are "always reused". Roy continues to explain that flowers are always given to charities or churches and it is also said that the Princess of Wales will take some of the flowers she is given to the family's Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.
If they are on a foreign royal tour, it is said the royals take their flowers back to their hotel rooms and are then donated to local charities, churches and organisations. The royals are also often given gifts that usually come in the form of toys.
These toys must be first given to security to undergo a rigorous test. If the gift passes the inspection, the royal can then decide what they would like to do with it. If it is valued at a price under £150, the royals can choose to give the gift to their members of staff or opt to donate it to charities which are close to their heart. Alternatively, they can choose to keep it for themselves.
Source: Read Full Article