Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly returning $9.3 million (£7 million) in wedding gifts because palace aides want to prevent people and companies from using the newlywed Duke and Duchess of Sussex for publicity, The Express reports.
The reason bubbles down to royal protocol. According to official guidelines,
“The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by Members of The Royal Family is that no gifts, including hospitality or services, should be accepted which would, or might appear to, place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor.”
Express reports that one brand, Bags of Love, sent the couple matching bathing suits in hopes that they’ll wear them on their honeymoon.
Royal guidelines state that gifts offered from businesses in the UK “should normally be declined,” unless they’re a souvenir from an official visit or in celebration for a royal marriage or other personal occasion.
And when it comes to gifts from individuals royals don’t know personally, the offering “should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself.”
Weeks before their wedding, the Duke and Duchess announced the one wedding gift they did request is a donation to one of seven charities of their choice: CHIVA, Crisis, Myna Mahalia Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage, and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
The Queen, however is reportedly giving them a whole home-York Cottage in her Sandringham Estate. The grand gesture isn’t unusual to the sovereign; she gave Prince William and Kate Middleton Anmer Hall after they married in 2011.