View Full Version : Thursday Trivia: Wedding Gifts

Star lover
May 17th, 2018, 07:56 AM
Some Unusual Royal Wedding Gifts:

A TANDEM BIKE: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—then Prince William and Kate Middleton (2011) The then-Mayor of London (and current British Foreign Secretary), Boris Johnson, gifted the couple a tandem bike in the style of the city's then-relatively new bike-share program. Not a bad gift for the sporty couple, but no one has seen them out riding it.

A COCKER SPANIEL: Kate's brother, James, couldn't resist giving the happy couple a black cocker spaniel puppy, Lupo, who is now a beloved member of the family.


A LAND ROVER: One physical gift that William and Kate received that went straight to charity was a Land Rover Defender 110 Utility Wagon. Prince William—who is the patron of the Mountain Rescue England and Wales organization—wrote the names of 50 different mountain rescue teams from across the country on slips of paper and asked Prince Harry to pick one out at random. The car was ultimately awarded to a team based in Patterdale in the English Lake District.

A KAYAK: Prince Carl Philip of Sweden and his wife Sofia Hellqvist (now Princess Sofia) are well known for their love of the outdoors, and were gifted a two-seater kayak by the Swedish government on behalf of the people of Sweden for their wedding in 2015. Naturally, they also received their very own nature reserve in Värmland, the region in which they are the Duke and Duchess, in which to try it out.

A TENNIS COURT: When Crown Prince Frederik and Mary of Denmark wed in 2004, the Danish municipality of Sønderborg gave the couple a tennis court and pavilion at Gråsten Castle, the summer residence of the Danish royals.

A GIANT JIGSAW PUZZLE OF THE BRIDE AND GROOM: When Felipe, Prince of Asturias (now King Felipe VI of Spain) married Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano in 2004, the people of the Asturian capital Oviedo sent them a gigantic jigsaw puzzle depicting their portrait that was assembled by visitors to a local shopping mall.

A "STOP SMOKING" COURSE: When Crown Prince Haakon, heir to throne of Norway, married Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby in Oslo in 2001, one of the gifts reportedly sent to the couple was a course on how to quit smoking, intended to curb the bride's smoking habit.

A PRIVATE WHITNEY HOUSTON CONCERT: When the eldest daughter of the Sultan of Brunei, Princess Rashidah, married Pengiran Anak Abdul Rahim Pengiran Kemaludin in 1996, her uncle Prince Jefri Bolkiah hired Whitney Houston to perform as a gift for the happy couple. According to some accounts, Houston was paid $1 million for the gig—but others claim the notoriously profligate Prince Jefri handed Houston a blank check and asked her to fill out whatever figure she felt she was worth: a cool $7 million.

ONE TON OF PEAT: When Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, they received a number of traditional gifts, including paintings, jewelry, a four poster bed, and an art deco Cartier clock. Charles's interest in agriculture was picked up on by a local village council in Somerset, southwest England, who opted to send the prince one ton of high-quality peat for use on his Gloucestershire estate.

A "REALLY LOVELY RUG": When Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II's daughter, married Captain Mark Philips in 1973, the members of the British Cabinet all pitched in and bought the couple a rug. Like many office-pooled gifts, every member of the Cabinet contributed an equal share—which private papers later revealed to be just £10.53 ($14.19, US) each. The princess wrote each member a personal note thanking them "most warmly" for "a really lovely rug." When it was revealed that President Nixon and the U.S. government had sent the couple a solid crystal bowl and four gold candlesticks, Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Sir Robert Armstrong wryly commented, "This makes an old Persian rug look pretty crumby."

A 147-FOOT YACHT (THAT YOU CAN HOLIDAY ON TODAY): Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis—future husband of Jackie Kennedy—gave Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace (a.k.a. Hollywood actress Grace Kelly) a 147-foot yacht, the Arion, as a wedding present in 1956. They honeymooned on it off the coast of Corsica and Sardinia; it's now a luxury floating hotel operating in the Galapagos Islands.


THE INGREDIENTS FOR A WEDDING CAKE: Wartime rationing was still in place in Great Britain when Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II, married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, now Prince Philip, in 1947. To get around the food shortages, the Australian Girl Guides Association chose to gift the couple the ingredients they would need for their wedding cake.

A BOX OF APPLES: Rationing didn't stop the British public from giving Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip presents either. In addition to a box of home-grown apples, the royal couple were also sent 500 tins of pineapple, two dozen handbags, 12 bottles of sloe gin, and 131 pairs of nylon stockings.

A HAND-SPUN LACE TRAY COVER (THAT LOOKED LIKE A LOIN CLOTH): Elizabeth's wedding was just two months before 78-year-old Mahatma Gandhi's death, and the famed activist sent the couple an Indian lace tray cover that he wove himself. Reportedly, Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary, thought it was a loin cloth.

A NATIONWIDE AMNESTY: In the late 19th century, the Imperial Chinese government celebrated the wedding of two members of its ruling Qing Dynasty by enacting a 20-day nationwide amnesty in their honor, during which no one would be punished for any crime. On the day of the wedding itself, the entire population of the Empire was mandated to wear red and green clothing.


A HALF-TON WHEEL OF CHEESE: When Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, one of the couple's wedding gifts was one of the largest wheels of cheese in British history. Measuring more than 9 feet across, weighing in at more than 1000 pounds, and made from the milk of 750 cows, the cheese was prepared for the occasion by villages in Somerset, southwest England. And befitting the happy occasion, a cheesy song was written as well:

“The Pennard men then built a cheese
The like was never seen!
’Twas made, and press’d, and fit to please
Our gracious lady Queen!
And wedded to her royal love
May blessings on her fall,
And Pennard cheese at dinner prove
The best thing—after all!”

A MINI-CHATEAU: When 15-year-old Dauphin Louis-Auguste (later Louis XVI) of France married 14-year-old Marie Antoinette in 1770, he gave her Le Petit Trianon, a three-story miniature chateau set in the grounds of the palace of Versailles, as a wedding present. "This pleasure house is yours," he reportedly told her. In the uneasy first years of their marriage, the future queen spent much of her time at Trianon, and though Louis would join her for dinner, he never spent the night there (which likely contributed to their not consummating the marriage for seven years).


A FEAST MADE ENTIRELY OF SUGAR (AND A SUGAR REPLICA OF THE GROOM): When King Henry IV of France married Marie de'Medici in 1600, he presented her with a grand Florentine banquet of fish and roast meats—at least at first glance. Turns out, the feast was made entirely from sugar. The groom perhaps took the European love of sugar a bit too far. Their ceremony was a wedding-by-proxy; in his stead, Henry sent a near life-size sugar replica of himself riding a horse.


A GOLD CUP DESIGNED BY HANS HOLBEIN: When Henry VIII married his third wife, Jane Seymour, in 1536 (just 11 days after Anne Boleyn was beheaded), he gave her a solid gold drinking cup designed by German Renaissance master Hans Holbein as a wedding present (Holbein was the court artist; many of the most famous portraits done of the Tudors were by Holbein). Alas, all that remains of Queen Jane's gift is a sketch of it: Charles I pawned the cup in 1625 and had it melted down four years later.


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have requested (as many royals do) that gifts be made to charitable organizations.......apparently many do not!

May 17th, 2018, 08:59 AM
I wonder if a quilt was made would they donate it to somebody else?

Star lover
May 17th, 2018, 09:12 AM
I don't know......from all I read up on......most everything is donated or stored......it'd be a shame for somone to put all the work into one, only to have it donated.

May 17th, 2018, 10:06 AM
Well it would be better to see it used somewhere than left in storage forever.

May 17th, 2018, 10:11 AM
Rich people are surely a different sort. What in the world could they ever want, need or cherish? Perhaps a normal? existence without every detail of their lives on display. Imagine 400 years from now, someone writes a column speaking of what we got as wedding gifts...hehe

May 17th, 2018, 11:02 AM
What was the most unusual wedding gift you received? I got married in the 70's and my then boss gifted us with a huge 6 ft by 8 ft American flag. We pinned it to the wall over our couch in our first apartment. We were kind of late to the movement hippies back then. I remember smoking a lot of pot in front of that flag!

May 17th, 2018, 11:28 PM
I got some unusual or shall I say cheap gifts. The most unusual were Bells of Sarna. They looked like cow bells, and given to me by a girlfriend I met at summer school. I don't have them, but the tradition of receiving these as a wedding gift was touching.

I brought back about 8 teapot, cream and sugar sets to Woolco. Didn't drink coffee or tea. Most of the other gifts were good, but after about 5 years, I sold them at a garage sale and got what I wanted.

May 18th, 2018, 03:04 PM
Can't say that I remember any unusual wedding gifts from 1979, but my friend (who married in 1978) and I were wandering through an antique store recently. We really began to feel old when we saw some of the same things we got as wedding gifts now being sold in the antique store.:(