Heritage

10 Presents Queen Elizabeth Has Given to Others

For Prince William’s 32nd birthday, the Queen gave him a $13.6 million helicopter.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/ PIXABAY
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As the longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth has amassed quite a collection of weird and exotic gifts. But we are just as curious about the gifts Queen Elizabeth gives to others.

Ever wonder how Queen Elizabeth is as a gift-giver? Scroll on to see some of her headline-making gifts.

1. During an informal visit to the Vatican, Queen Elizabeth presented Pope Francis with some treats from her many estates. “I’ve also brought something from all our estates which is for you personally,” the Queen said. The goods were cased in a large wicker hamper and contained a rib of beef and a dozen eggs from Windsor, apple juice and quince jelly from Sandringham, whiskey from Balmoral, and honey right from Buckingham Palace’s garden. 

Along with the basket of goods, the Queen and Prince Philip offered their traditional gift: a silver-framed photograph of the royal couple. “I’m afraid you have to have a photograph, it’s inevitable,” she said.

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2. Queen Elizabeth, true to tradition, also presented the President of China, Xi Jinping a silver-framed photograph of her and Prince Philip during the President’s 2015 visit. The Queen added a special personal touch by supplementing the photograph with a collection of Shakespeare's sonnets, understanding that the Chinese President is a big fan of the bard, and Royal Crown Derby candlesticks for the First Lady Madame Peng Liyuan.

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3. Through prerogative right, the British Crown owns all the unmarked mute swans in open water across the United Kingdom. And so in 1967, the Queen made use of this right and gifted the city of Ottawa six pairs swans of two varieties—the mute swan and black swan, to commemorate the Canadian Centennial. The Royal Swans, as they’re called, have increased since then and occupies the waters of the Rideau River between Carleton University and Cummings Bridge.

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4. As a boss, the Queen doesn’t disappoint. In the past, the royal has given the most loyal of her staff at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle home accessories such as China tankards and decanters for Christmas. The Queen is also mindful of current events. For Christmas 2008, the monarch opted to handout sets of silver-plated coasters. However, some of these pieces end up on auction sites like eBay and Julien’s Auctions.

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5. The Queen is a little more generous when it comes to her family members. As a young queen, Elizabeth gifted a Silver Wraith Rolls-Royce to her uncle, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India.

The President of the Vintage and Classic Car Club of India Nitin Dossa shares, "The Silver Wraith Rolls Royce is of great historical significance. It was given by Queen Elizabeth to her last Viceroy in India, Lord Mountbatten. Later, it was handed over to the Government of India by Mountbatten on India’s Independence to become the state car of the government," he continued, "It was also used by the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri and has also serviced foreign heads of state like the Shah of Iran, Jinnah and the likes, on their visit to India. The Government of India used the Rolls till [the] late 1960s."

6. For her son Prince Charles’ 21st birthday, the Queen took a similar approach and gifted him an Aston Martin DB5. The Queen’s gift made headlines again in 2008, after Prince Charles converted the 38-year-old car to run on biofuel made from surplus wine. “The prince uses wine from a vineyard close to his Highgrove Estate,” a spokesman revealed.

7. Princess Diana received a number of gifts from the Queen, most of the time, in the form of jewelry. In 1981, the Queen loaned the Lover’s Knot Tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift. The tiara quickly became a favorite of the new Princess despite its heavy weight. When Charles and Diana divorced, the people’s princess had to give the Lover’s Knot Tiara back to the Queen as it was on loan. It wasn’t seen publicly until 2015, until Duchess Kate wore it at a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, presumably as a gift from the Queen.

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8. For her grandson Prince William’s 32nd birthday, the Queen spared no expense and gifted the Duke of Cambridge a $13.6 million helicopter. The 2008 Agusta A109S was leased by the Queen to safeguard her grandson and his family’s constant travels and boasts a seven-person seating capacity, leather seats, and is emblazoned with the Queen’s royal crest.


9. Even royals aren’t susceptible to the convenience of re-gifting. In this case, it’s a golden nugget. British royal tradition states that brides receive a band made from Welsh gold on the day of their wedding, due to its rarity and overall quality. Queens and princesses of royal past wore bands sourced from the Clogau Gold Mine. The well-known mine, however, closed due to the quality gold’s scarcity.

To carry on tradition, the Queen gifted Prince William a Welsh gold nugget which was given to her as a gift by the British Royal Legion prior to the mine’s closure. The rest, as they say, is history.

10. To celebrate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s marriage, the Queen gifted the couple Anmer Hall. A Georgian country house, Anmer Hall is located in the village of Anmer in Norfolk and dates back from the 18th-century. To accommodate Prince William and Duchess Kate, Anmer Hall underwent a £1.5 million refurbishment that includes new roofing, a renovated kitchen, complete interior redecoration, the addition of a conservatory designed by architect Charles Morris, and an extensive tree-planting programme as a security precaution.

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Paolo Chua
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