It's not just jewels in the Royal family swag bag - Telegraph
For every magnificent suite of Bahraini blood diamonds staining the Countess of Wessex’s conscience, there are barrowloads of bizarre bric-à-brac, livestock, deadstock and random foodstuffs handed over as state gifts.
When Sri Lanka presented the Duke of Edinburgh
with a baby elephant (with nary a thought as to how it might fit into his Ryanair hand luggage), it eventually found a home in London Zoo. Similarly, Princess Anne
was given a brown Syberian bear by the Soviet Union, Prince Andrew
had to nod and smile as he cradled his newborn Gambian crocodile and a pair of sloths were gifted to the Queen
in Brazil in 1968.
Official gifts aren’t the property of the recipient, but are considered to have been received on behalf of the monarch. Royals who carry out foreign tours tend to bring home the most booty, and are allowed full use of the item for their lifetime, after which the gift passes back to the Queen
It is she who then decides whether the two bags of basmati rice given to Prince Andrew by the Pakistan High Commission should be cooked and served with a tasty korma, displayed under glass at Buckingham Palace or thoughtfully passed down as an edible dowry to Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Providing, of course, their mother doesn’t trough them first.
All presents are painstakingly logged and listed. Thus, we know that in 2008 the Prince of Wales
and the Duchess of Cornwall
were given two wristbands, two baseball caps, four T-shirts and 18 CDs by the Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica: all of which conjure up a disturbing image of Charles and Camilla reggae-dancing that is almost impossible to expunge.
Until, that is, you consider the fly swat, finger puppets and self-assembly golf club kindly proffered by odd (in every sense) members of the public.
Sorry for posting this article here, I'm not sure it belongs this thread.