Prince Harry and his wife Meghan wave as they ride a horse-drawn carriage after their wedding ceremony. Photograph:( Reuters )
The newly-married royal couple is back in news as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decide to return the £7 million-worth (Rs 625 million) of wedding gifts as these are unsolicited presents from well-wishers and companies looking for publicity.
As per royal guidelines, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are prohibited from accepting any gifts for commercial purposes. This is for all brands and commercial ventures who are looking to gain by their association with the royal couple. This also includes any well-wishers that the couple personally doesn’t know of.
This is why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their public wedding registry ask for donations to charities in lieu of presents. Prior to their wedding, the couple 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.”
In a statement, the palace said: “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.”
Apart from the £7m worth of gifts they cannot keep, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also received some gifts that they won’t have to return, including a pair of koalas named Meghan and Harry from the Australian region of New South Wales. The koalas will be kept at the Taronga Zoo.