Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to return wedding gifts
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to return £7million-worth of wedding gifts after being flooded with unsolicited presents from companies looking for publicity.
The royal couple - who are currently honeymooning in Canada after tying the knot at St George's Chapel in Windsor on May 19 - have been flooded with unsolicited presents from well-wishers but, due to royal guidelines, they are unable to accept any presents from people they do not personally know in order to avoid any companies exploiting their offerings for commercial gain.
A statement from Kensington Palace told The Independent newspaper: "When gifts are accepted, the consent of the Member of the Royal Family should be contingent upon the enterprise undertaking not to exploit the gift for commercial purposes.
"Gifts offered by private individuals living in the UK not personally known to the Member of the Royal Family should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself."
Before the wedding, Prince Harry and his partner - who was known as Meghan Markle before the ceremony - asked for donations to charities instead of presents.
Guidelines issued to guests stated: "It should be noted that gifts cannot be brought to St George's Chapel or the Reception that follows at Windsor Castle. Guests are advised to seek further guidance on delivery arrangements for any gifts to Kensington Palace."
Among the official wedding presents Prince Harry and Meghan are able to keep, are a pair of koalas named Meghan and Harry from the Australian region of New South Wales, which will be kept at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
After their nuptials the Duke and Duchess donated their wedding flowers to hospices and women's refuges around the UK, including St Joseph's Hospice in Hackney.
St Joseph's Hospice wrote on Facebook: "Today we got a very special delivery. Beautiful bouquets made from the #royalwedding flowers which we gave to our patients," they wrote.
"A big thank you to Harry and Meghan and florist Philippa Craddock. Our hospice smells and looks gorgeous. Such a lovely gesture".
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