New Delhi: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly returning $9.3 million (£7 million) in wedding gifts because palace aides want to prevent people and companies from using the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex for publicity, reports The Express.
The reason is the royal protocol, according to official guidelines, “The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by Members of The Royal Family is that no gifts, including hospitality or services, should be accepted which would, or might appear to, place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor.”
The Express also reported that a brand sent the couple matching bathing suits hoping that they might wear them on their honeymoon. Royal guidelines state that gifts offered from businesses in the UK “should normally be declined,” unless they’re a souvenir from an official visit or in celebration for a royal marriage or other personal occasion. But the royal’s decision to accept the present should be “contingent upon the enterprise undertaking not to exploit the gift for commercial purposes.”
And when it comes to gifts from individuals royals don’t know personally, the offering “should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself.”
Before the royal wedding, the couple had issued guidelines about the big day – including a line about gifts that read: “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 for any gifts to Kensington Palace.”
The Queen, on the other hand is reportedly giving the newly weds a home — York Cottage in her Sandringham Estate. Earlier, she gave Prince William and Kate Middleton Anmer Hall after they married in 2011.
Apart from the $9.3 million worth of gifts they cannot keep, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did receive some notable gifts they won’t have to return, including a pair of koalas named Meghan and Harry from the Australian region of New South Wales that will be kept at the Taronga Zoo, reported independent.co.uk.