Prince William and Kate cannot accept souvenirs gifted abroad over ‘obligation’ threat
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Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge are a well-travelled pair, taking on a huge proportion of international duties on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, now 94-years-old. However, unlike the typical traveller, when travelling as a member of the Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge must follow strict etiquette rules.
Not only do these protocols dictate things they must do and ways in which they must behave, but there are also strict guidelines for things they must not do.
Unfortunately, this often means missing out on some extra special perks, as royal etiquette expert Anne Chertoff explained to Express.co.uk.
Ms Chertoff is the has the inside scoop on many royal traditions thanks to her role as chief operating officer at Beaumont Etiquette which offers its own royal-themed etiquette course.
According to Ms Chertoff, while souvenirs from locals may sound like a lovely way to remember a trip, for Prince William and Kate, this is off the cards.
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“Members of the Royal Family may not accept a gift or service that gives the appearance or puts the receiver under obligation to the gift giver,” explained Ms Chertoff.
This means any gift from someone they are working with, which could be viewed as something akin to a bribe, can not be accepted.
The cost of a gift also plays a large role in determining whether or not it can be accepted.
The expert explains gifts costing more than £150 are generally to be taken by any member of the Royal Family.
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However, there are some instances in which Royal Family members can accept gifts, though there are strict rules which must be adhered to.
“There are several different types of gifts,” continued Ms Chertoff.
“Those from individuals, charities, foreign governments and businesses.
“All official gifts are acknowledged and recorded, including who the gift is from and what it was.”
She added: “Whether the individual keeps the gift will depend on what it is and who it is from.
“Gifts may be used or consumed – if it’s food or drink – displayed in a Royal residence, become part of the Royal Collection (all gifts to the Queen from a Head of State or government become part of the Royal Collection) or placed on loan with an organisation.”
There have been times, particularly with younger members of the family, where the rules on gifting have been bent in certain circumstances.
For example, Prince William and Kate took their eldest son Prince George along with them on their 2014 royal tour of Australia and New Zealand.
During the trip, he was given a stuffed bilby teddy which he took a shine to and was allowed to keep.
Regardless of whether it is Prince George or the Queen herself accepting the gift though, Ms Chertoff explained: “All gifts must be accepted graciously.”She continued: “Gifts that the family doesn’t want to keep can be donated to a charity or can be stored.”
She added: “Members of the British Royal Family are representing the Queen on their formal state visits and therefore must accept every item on behalf of the Queen.”
She continued: “Gifts that the family doesn’t want to keep can be donated to a charity or can be stored.”
Examples of gifts often donated to local charities and organisations include food baskets and flowers.
Diana, Princess of Wales, became famed for donating her thousands of flowers to local hospitals and charities when she was travelling abroad.
Along with not receiving gifts, Ms Chertoff points out some rules on ways the royals can not “gift” members of the public either.
“Royal family members typically do not sign autographs,” she said.
“While greeting well-wishers, members of the Royal Family do not sign autographs as Hollywood celebrities do.
“You rarely see them posing for selfies either, although fans may take photos.”
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