Queen collects plethora of gifts

Posted on January 16, 2014

Fabulous jewels, sumptuous decorative pieces, fine wine and an Oyster travel smartcard were just some of the official gifts received by the Queen last year.As a token of thanks the Queen received a plethora of presents during royal engagements in 2013.When the head of state marked the 150th anniversary of London Underground by visiting the capital’s Baker Street Tube station last March, she was presented with a commemorative Oyster card, as were the Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Cambridge. And when Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, president of the United Arab Emirates, arrived for a state visit last April, he brought for his host a gold jewelled frame set on a jewelled ostrich egg. He also gave the Queen a five-strand necklace, made from natural pearls sourced from the Arabian Gulf. The more unusual gifts included an edible carriage – a replica of the Irish state coach – made from chocolate, sugar and 24-carat gold leaf.

It was presented in April at the end of a royal visit to the UK headquarters of the firm Mars in Slough, Berkshire. The item was included in a list of officials gifts given to members of the Royal Family and released by Buckingham Palace. One of the presents given to the Princess Royal was a contemporary art print of Anne riding a moose – handed over by its creator artist Charles Pachter. The presentation was made during the Princess’ tour of Canada last October, and came the day Prince George was christened. The Queen also received an engraved vase from the firm Dartington Crystal to mark her visit to the Chelsea Flower Show, and a digital radio presented by BBC broadcaster John Humphrys when she opened the corporation’s rebuilt Broadcasting House. She was presented with books on topics ranging from ancient Egypt and horses to English country houses. When Croatian president Ivo Josipovic met the Queen he gave her a wooden box containing three bottles of wine, w hile the lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan, Vaughn Solomon Schofield, gave the Queen a diamond, pearl and tourmaline flower patterned brooch during an audience. Philip received a number of gifts last year including a bottle of beer, a drink he enjoys with his lunch, from the Cutty Sark Trust, and a gold rose tie pin from Newhaven Chamber of Commerce. Clarence House released a list of official gifts received during overseas tours by Prince Harry, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall. US first lady Michelle Obama gave Harry, an Army Apache helicopter commander, a brown leather flying jacket when he visited the White House last May.

Harry was in the US to support the Warrior Games – a Paralympic-style sporting event for wounded servicemen and women. He received armfuls of sports gear during his trip, from swimming shorts and golf balls to T-shirts and baseball caps. Charles and Camilla toured the Middle East last March and in Jordan the Prince was given 12 bottles of olive oil from Princess Alia, a member of the country’s royal family who gave the Duchess a box of toiletries. Arab royal families are famed for their generosity and King Abudullah of Saudi Arabia gave Charles a silver gilt oasis desert scene. When the royal couple visited India in November the Maharaja Manujendra Shah gave the heir to the throne a silver and turquoise octagonal box while an unidentified individual gave Charles a tiffin set. Charles was also presented with a ceramic figurine of himself with children’s character Postman Pat while in Jordan. The heir to the throne had been modelled with one hand in his pocket and standing opposite Pat and his cat Jess. The gift came from the Jordan-based firm Rubicon which is making an animated film about Pat, due for release this year, in partnership with the Hollywood studio Dreamworks.

Published by: Hillingdon and Uxbridge- National News

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