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What the royals actually do with your gifts

One fan gave the couple a poster and a stuffed koala. Picture: Paul Edwards/Pool via AP
One fan gave the couple a poster and a stuffed koala. Picture: Paul Edwards/Pool via AP

WHEREVER the royals go, people love turning up to give them gifts.

So far, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Australian tour is no different. As the couple met with the public on Tuesday - at Taronga Zoo and outside the Sydney Opera House - they were handed hundreds of presents from wellwishers, such as flowers (including from one guy who got told off by Harry for handing over a huge bouquet to Meghan), stuffed toys for their baby, and handmade posters and cards.

They didn't hang onto them for long - after saying "thank you", they quickly handed whatever they'd been given back to one of the many members of their entourage who were walking through the crowd with them.

Staffers were hanging back, ready to help carry some of the loot. Picture: Nathan Edwards
Staffers were hanging back, ready to help carry some of the loot. Picture: Nathan Edwards

And that was just on Day One.

Even with the generous baggage allowance they're surely afforded, it's unlikely they're lugging all that stuff back to London.

So what happens to it all?

According to the royal family's official gift policy, one of a few things can happen. It can be accepted and used, provided it's worth less than £150 ($A276), or it could be kept in storage for up to five years. Curators of the Royal Collection may choose to incorporate it into their displays, or it may be donated to an organisation or charity, or - unfortunately - it can be destroyed or thrown out.

If it's any consolation to gift-bearing fans, each item appears to be thoroughly considered.

Every year, the royals releases itemised lists of every gift they've received, including details about who it's from, where it was given, what it was, and who it was for.

Here's an example from Prince William's visit to Finland late last year:

 

The official itemised list of gifts given to Prince William. Picture: Royal.uk
The official itemised list of gifts given to Prince William. Picture: Royal.uk

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue their tour in Dubbo today, where they're scheduled to meet members of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, see sheep and cattle on a farming property, and mingle with up to 10,000 locals in Dubbo's main park.

One of the many, many, many bouquets and cards Meghan received. Picture: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage
One of the many, many, many bouquets and cards Meghan received. Picture: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Topics:  duke and duchess of sussex gifts prince harry and meghan markle royal tour