Selecting a wedding gift for any of your friends can be tricky—especially when there isn't a wedding registry to work off of. You want to give the couple something special, but something that also fits their tastes. Now imagine your to-be-wedded friend is royalty. Mission impossible. Just ask the well-wishers who gifted wedding presents to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Reportedly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex must return around $9 million worth of those wedding gifts, per royal protocol.
According to The Express, Kensington Palace received waves of gift boxes and parcels from companies and celebrities for the newlyweds, tallying up to an estimated value of £7 million ($9.3 million)—most of which is being returned to sender.
The official royal gift policy—because, of course they have one—states: “Members of The Royal Family may accept gifts from government bodies, trade associations, guilds, civic bodies, the armed services, charities or similar organisations in the UK, especially those with which the Member of The Royal Family has an established connection, in the course of official engagements or to mark special personal occasions. 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. ”
Hence, gifts from the the public—i.e. the thousands of Markle super fans who lined up to see her get married—must be returned. Guess it's back to the store with that Cuisinart waffle maker... Guests and spectators alike should've really taken the bride and groom's request for charitable donations in lieu of gifts to heart. (That's what you get for straying from the registry!)
Thankfully, some around-the-world wedding-watchers were paying attention. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, for example, issued a statement on the couple’s wedding day that said that the country would be donating £29,000 ($50,000) to a youth charity called Jumpstart, on behalf of the newlyweds. Canada is definitely getting a thank-you note!