These are the strangest gifts given to the royal family in the past year

From eagle feathers and solar panels to deer and purple salt, here are the most unusual royal gifts of 2016...

Royal gifts

From eagle feathers and solar panels to deer and purple salt, here are the most unusual royal gifts of 2016...

It seems like part of the royal duty is to receive presents, with all royal family members regularly showered with gifts, whether from world leaders on official tours abroad or just by general members of the public.

With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge going on an official Canadian tour, and Prince Harry following in his father’s footsteps and exploring the Caribbean – not to mention the Queen turning 90, 2016 has been a particularly good year for royal gifts.

Luckily for us, an official list was released this year, detailing all of the gifts that each royal had received in 2016, some of them you’d expect but some of them you really wouldn't.

Here are some of the weird and wonderful gifts given to the royal family in 2016…

The Queen

(Image credit: REX)

Queen Elizabeth understandably did the best of all the royals, celebrating her 90th birthday last year and therefore receiving by far the most presents - but what do you get the woman who has everything?

Some went down the traditional route of what to give a 90-year-old woman, with Her Majesty receiving a tartan travel rug, a silver post-it note holder, a limited edition Monopoly set and a chest of wine. Others, however, went down a different route, opting for more unusual ideas, with the Queen receiving a pair of young red deer stags, a model BAC Mono sports car, a painted ostrich egg, a pair of drum sticks and a large bag of purple salt – the last being a gift from the British Virgin Islands.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also did very well, receiving many-a gift on their Canadian tour. While Prince William received a few gifts that you would expect, from woollen mittens and bow ties to a volleyball jersey, some of his strangest gifts included a glass block, a lace snowflake, a drum, a bread mix, a laminated sonnet and a guitar.

Kate Middleton also received her fair share of unusual gifts this year, being given everything from a cloak and a pair of paddles to nine packets of cereal and a Canadian candlestick holder.

It was their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, however, who really cleaned up, apparently raking in 165 gifts between them.

Among one-year-old Princess Charlotte’s gifts from bottles of bubble mix to toy tiaras and dolls, was a miniature ice hockey stick and a guitar. Prince George, now three, was also given all manner of presents, from an aviation suit and a child’s life jacket to a mountain of Lego from the Mayor of Vancouver.

Prince Harry went on his official tour of the Caribbean last year, so he was also showered with gifts, especially in Antigua and Barbuda, receiving rum, hot pepper sauce and a woven basket.

The unusual royal gifts weren’t just limited to those family members though. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, received everything from face masks and three boxes of mangoes to six tins of corned meat, while Prince Edward and his wife Sophie Wessex raked in some Uruguayan riding boots, an array of blue cheeses, personalised chef jackets and a solar panel plaque.

We don't know how (and where) the Royals are going to store their many gifts, but apparently they cannot be exchanged or sold. All of the gifts will eventually be added to the Royal Collection, held for successors (presumably the array of blue cheeses will be consumed rather than preserved for future generations, however).

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.