In a shocking turn of events, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have to return some of the gifts they received for their baby due to a strict royal protocol.
Any gift that puts a member of the royal family “under any obligation to the donor” cannot be accepted by them and must be returned. That means that Prince Harry and Meghan must carefully go over the gifts they receive and perhaps even return some of them. The Royal Guidelines are very clear on the issue: “The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by Members of The Royal Family is that no gifts should be accepted which would place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor. In this regard, before accepting any gift, careful consideration should always be given to the donor, the reason for and occasion of the gift and the nature of the gift itself. Equally, before declining the offer of a gift, careful consideration should be given to any offense that might be caused by such an action.”
In practice, this seriously limits the gifts they can freely receive to flowers, book presented by the author themselves and all gifts with a value of under £150.
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They have to decline or return all gifts they receive from business, including shops, and can only accept gifts from public bodies if they are from the UK.
Instead, they have encouraged everyone to donate to charities. Their spokesperson said this on their Instagram account: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child. In lieu of sending gifts, the couple have long planned to encourage members of the public to make donations to select charities for children and parents in need. If you already made a donation, the couple send you their greatest thanks.”