Is Princess Eugenie Allowed To Accept Wedding Gifts? Here’s What She May Do
While it's customary to bring a gift to a wedding, royal couples like Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank want for nothing, which begs the question: Is Princess Eugenie allowed to accept wedding gifts? There doesn't seem to be anything in the royal gifts rulebook about Princess Eugenie being not allowed to accept gifts at her Oct. 12 wedding to Jack Brooksbank, but there are restrictions about kinds of gifts the couple can receive. That being said, royal couples have a history of asking for donations to specific charities in lieu of wedding gifts, which takes the guesswork out of shopping for the perfect present.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle requested well wishers make donations to one of several charities the couple selected, according to Kensington Palace. Princess Eugenie is passionate about living a plastic-free life, and reportedly banned the use of plastic at her wedding. This means it's quite possible that if she and Brooksbank do request charitable donations, the proceeds would benefit a cause dedicated to reducing the amount of plastic in the waste stream.
"My whole house is anti-plastic now — and Jack and I want our wedding to be like that as well," she told BritishVogue.
But, this doesn't mean there won't be any gifts at the upcoming royal wedding part deux. CNN reported that royal wedding gifts historically have a larger meaning beyond helping newlyweds stock their new home with all the things they'll need to start their new life together. "Gift-giving has long been used as a diplomatic gesture by crowned monarchs and heads of state," Marlen Komar reported ahead of the Royal Wedding in May. "It can be used to transfer wealth between families, or it could symbolize a special bond; it could signify an open table, or it could further a relationship."
Because, let's face it, members of the royal family are the original influencers. When Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot in 2011, the couple received a tandem bicycle from the City of London, which the BBC reported was a strategic move to promote the bikes within the city. This type of gifting is generally frowned upon by the royal family.
"The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by members of the royal family is that no gifts, including hospitality or services, should be accepted which would, or might appear to, place the member of the royal family under any obligation to the donor," the royal gifts policy explained. It's this policy that caused Prince Harry and Markle to return more than $9 million in gifts after their May wedding, according to Marie Claire.
However, not all royal wedding gifts come with an ulterior motive. Komar reported that when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip got married after the war, people sent food items, including a live turkey and ingredients to make a wedding cake because they were concerned she wouldn't have access to these items while post-war rationing was still in place.
And, according to the royal gifts policy, some gifts from members of the general public are allowed, including: "Flowers, foodstuff and other consumable items (within reasonable quantities); copies of books presented by the author, provided the subject matter is not controversial; and, other items of small monetary value, i.e. items costing less than £150."
Because Princess Eugenie is an ambassador for Project 0, an organization that works to restore the health of the ocean, it's likely that she could request donations to projects and organizations that share this theme. However, she can't accept gifts from companies that hope she'll use and promote their plastic-alternative products, or a line of hats from the latest designer, which is a shame because have you seen Prince Eugenie's hats? The bottom line? When in doubt, donate.