Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have accepted many lovely gifts from the Australian public over the first four days of their royal tour .
And they’re likely to receive many more as they travel to New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
On Friday in Sydney, Meghan looked shocked when she was handed a bunch of carrots 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.
But what exactly happens next? Are they allowed to keep the gifts and do they use them?
Although each gift-giver would love to think Harry and Meghan will cherish their present forever, they can’t possibly use them all. So here’s what happens next…
Any present handed to Harry and Meghan while they are shaking hands at public engagements is classed as an "official gift".
Every single gift handed to any royal on an official engagement is recorded on a form.
According to the royal family website, these gifts do not become the private property of Meghan and Harry – or any member of royalty who receives them.
The Duke and Duchess’ presents fall into the ‘official’ category as they are "given by individuals not personally known to the Member of The Royal Family during ‘walkabouts’."
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 ( if Meghan isn’t going to put them into a stew) then they may be given to charities or third parties to avoid waste.
Third parties include the royals’ staff, so Meghan could technically pass those carrots on to her royal aides.
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.
Meghan and Harry’s Royal Tour
On the day of Prince Louis’ birth, Kensington Palace issued a statement from Prince William and Kate Middleton to dissuade the public from sending gifts to the baby.
It read: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill being expressed at this happy time.
"However, Their Royal Highnesses do not wish to encourage the sending of gifts to them on this occasion, and feel that any generosity of spirit felt by individuals should be directed to those more in need. "
They encouraged fans to donate gifts to local children’s charities or Evelina London Children’s Hospital instead.
You can read all the rules of the royal family’s gift policy on their website .
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