Regal Baby Gift Etiquette: Deciphering the Dos and Don’ts of Presents for the Royal Family

By Krystal Brown

The Royal family is showered with an astonishing number of gifts each year. Whether it be from eager well-wishers who queue for hours to greet them, world leaders, or businesses, the influx of presents reaches unprecedented levels when a new royal baby is expected. Despite their vast estates, there is always a shortage of space to accommodate the abundance of gifts received during this joyous period.

Who Can’t They Accept Baby Gifts From? 

There is a policy within the royal household that they cannot accept gifts or hospitality which could place them under obligation from the sender. They are unable to accept a gift from someone if they are expected to do something in return. The Royal family must think long and hard about the reason for the gift, and then balance it with any offence that may be caused if they decline it. 

The royals can’t accept gifts from commercial enterprises within the UK. However, there are exceptions if the item is a souvenir of an official visit or it marks an occasion such as a wedding. If there is a gift that cannot be accepted, it will be sent back if there are no cost issues. Gifts from overseas are usually rejected. 

Who Can Give the Royals Gifts for Their Baby’s? 

There is more freedom for charities, government bodies, the armed services, trade associations, civic bodies, guilds and similar organisations. The royals are able to accept gifts from either of them, especially if they mark a special occasion or they have a link directly to them. 

If the royals don’t know the person gifting them, then it is up to them to be careful of their motives. Otherwise, they are able to accept gifts such as non-controversial books presented by the author themselves, flowers, “reasonable” amounts of consumables, and food. However, they are unable to accept a gift over £150

What About Money? 

The royals are able to accept checks on a charity’s behalf that they represent, but at their own discretion. This is usually for purposes of publicity. However, they are unable to accept checks or money on an engagement. If they are given money that cannot be returned, then they donate it to charity. 

What Happens to All of the Presents? 

At the royal households, gifts fall into two categories – personal and official. Official gifts are received by other members of the royal family, whether it’s a host or organizer of an engagement, at home, those sent by individuals or businesses that are unknown to the family or given by people not known to them on their walks. 

Personal gifts are given to a family by a relative, friend or member of the public that they know, and there is no connection of engagement. These also cover gifts of less than £150 which can be given to them by someone they know to mark an occasion, like the birth of a new baby! This also covers if a royal has won a merit or a gift from staff. 

Official gifts are recorded as soon as possible once they have been received, for example, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited Zambia, they were gifted two crocheted toy elephants and a crocheted rattle on behalf of George, Charlotte and Louis

Personal gifts are also recorded by the private secretary but only if they are passed onto the staff or others for control or income purposes. There must be written permission from the member of the Royal Family who owns a personal item if they wish to sell it.