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British royalty received some unusual gifts

– Crystal vases, brooches, books: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II received dozens of traditional gifts last year, but she also got some unusual items, from a chocolate Windsor Castle to some enameled beetles.

Buckingham Palace on Wednesday released a list of official gifts the monarch and other members of Britain’s royal family received in 2013 from foreign dignitaries, companies and charities. Many were predictable – china plates, paperweights, framed pictures – but some were more surprising.

The High Commissioner for Bangladesh gave the queen four enameled Scarab beetles, and Sri Lanka’s president chose a portrait of the monarch burned onto a tree trunk.

Some of the more lavish items on the queen’s gift list included a family photograph in a gold frame set on a jeweled ostrich egg and a five-strand pearl necklace, given by the president of the United Arab Emirates when he visited in April.

Princess Anne also received some unconventional presents, including a gnome, a plastic angel, and an art print of the royal riding a moose – a gift from a Canadian artist.

Prince Andrew received a set of golf clubs, a gingerbread cathedral, and socks.

Regulations state that official gifts to royals should be recorded. The gifts are not the royals’ private property, though they can consume or use the items or donate to charity to avoid waste. The gifts must not be sold.

– Associated Press

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