Following their Windsor Castle nuptials, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have to return £7 million of wedding presents, the Daily Express reports, due to the strict protocols which dictate whether or not the royal family can accept gifts.
In lieu of gifts, Harry and Meghan asked that well wishers could donate to one of seven charitable causes close to their hearts, including Crisis, StreetGames and the Myna Mahila Foundation, but it appears that some businesses chose to ignore this.
The official Palace guidelines state that '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,' and that '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.'
In other words, some of the wedding presents that Harry and Meghan have received will come from businesses around the UK with a not so hidden agenda. Should the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex have accepted any of the wedding gifts sent to them by various companies looking to capitalise upon the 'Meghan effect', this would effectively be a brilliant publicity opportunity for said companies (for example, a further report in the Express suggests that one brand sent the newlyweds some personalised swimwear, in the hope that they'd be papped wearing said swimwear on their forthcoming honeymoon and thus create a surge in brand interest. Sneaky, no?)
The royals can, however, accept small souvenirs from royal tours (remember when Prince George was gifted a cuddly Bilby toy in Australia... which he then threw on the floor in disdain? Iconic) and are of course still permitted to receive gifts from friends and family .
Look back at the best dressed guests at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in the gallery below...
Earl Spencer and Lady Karen Spencer
Prince Harry's uncle - and Princess Diana's younger brother, with his wife, Lady Karen Spencer.