Royal gifts range from exotic to practical

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London - Princes William and Harry were given gifts of alcohol and weapons while on overseas tours last year, while William's wife Catherine received ten handbags and six pairs of shoes, St James' Palace said Friday.

Many people go on holiday intending to do some shopping, but details released by the palace revealed the often weird and wonderful things collected by the British royals abroad, including chilli sauce and a water filtration unit.

On an official tour to Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu with William in September, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is expecting her first child in July, was given an array of clothes, accessories and jewellery.

The shoes and two of the bags were gifts from the queen of Malaysia, Raja Permaisuri Agong, along with two dresses, while the wife of the Malaysian prime minister gave the Duchess a twin set of South Sea pearls.

The president of Singapore gave the 31-year-old a shawl, and Catherine also received a silk scarf, sarongs, a sari, earrings and a pendant necklace.

Prince William meanwhile received a traditional Malaysian dagger from the nation's king, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as well as some clothes and books.

Between them the royal couple counted a tea service, a sheet of music, a model war canoe, eight woven mats and some chilli sauce among their joint gifts, as well as two dressing gown robes from Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

William's younger brother Harry, whose love of partying is well documented, was given rum during his trip to Jamaica last year, as well as some for his brother, and some cachaca spirit from Brazil.

The governor of Rio de Janeiro gave Harry a book and a Beatles CD when he was in Brazil, where the prince also received a license plate with “HARRY” on it.

Palace officials also published the gifts received by Prince Charles and Camilla on three tours last year, which included a portable water filtration unit given to them by an unnamed individual in Sweden.

Any presents received by the royals on official tours are viewed as property of the British nation, but they can use them if they want. “Depending on the gifts, they are used, displayed or stored,” a palace spokeswoman told AFP. - AFP


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