After tying the knot in what was called “the grandest wedding of our modern times”, Prince William & Kate Middleton received hundreds of wedding gifts from family, friends and admirers. The couple was wed on Friday, April 29th in Westminster Abbey in front of heads of state, celebrities, friends and family members. The couple asked members of the public who wished to give royal wedding gifts to instead donate money to organizations via a charitable gift fund. However, in spite of this request, they did receive a number of lavish and unusual gifts.
Prince William & Kate Middleton had gifts pouring in from around the world. One of the most notable wedding gifts came from Sir Richard Branson who in addition to making a sizable donation also offered the couple one of the British Virgin Islands to use for their upcoming 'honeymoons'. Branson told the couple that it was important to keep on honeymooning long after the exchange of nuptials - thus the gesture.
London's mayor, Boris Johnson gifted the royal pair with a specially built tandem bicycle. Johnson said that he thought the gift would provide Will and Kate with the perfect way to get around town without having to rely on chauffeurs. Whether or not the two ever ride the bike is not known, but one would have to agree that the specially-made bicycle built for two was indeed one of the most clever royal wedding gifts ever.
The Russian Federation gifted Prince William & Kate Middleton with a miniature casket made by the well-known Fedoskino miniature art manufacturer. On the lid of the coffin is a snow-capped view of Moscow and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The box is warranted for an entire century. Other notable recipients of miniature Fedoskino coffins are the Pope, Barack Obama and the British prime minister.
One of the more traditional wedding gifts received by the couple came from the Royal Mail service. That gift was in the form of a series of postage stamps which featured the pair's official engagement photos. Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave Kate three pairs of designer shoes. It was never revealed what style or brand the shoes were but knowing that Kate is very fashion-conscious, it's a sure bet that the shoes were chosen with care and that the Duchess of Cambridge she has worn all three pair.
Prince William & Kate Middleton also received their fair share of rather odd royal wedding gifts. When Prince William traveled to New Zealand following the wedding, an unidentified person gave him a hand-stitched kitchen apron. Perhaps it was a hint to the handsome hubby to pitch in around the house! When the royal couple made their way to the Land down Under, they were given a special jar of Australia's odd condiment Vegemite which tastes strangely like beef bouillon and is made from a combination of brewer's yeast extract, pureed veggies and spices.
Whatever one's opinion is of Queen Elizabeth, most do not think of her as a warm and friendly grandmother. That woman is a monarch through and through and she plays by the royal rules. Even so, she is the grandmother of Prince William so it should come as no surprise that she gave Kate one of the most memorable royal wedding gifts of all. The monarch gave Ms. Middleton two priceless silver salvars or trays that had belonged her her father King George VI. The queen has kept the trays in her home since her beloved father passed away at the age of 56 so for Her Majesty to bestow those to Kate is a sign that she approved of the wedding.