The Weirdest and Most Fabulous Gifts Ever Received by the Royal Family

By: Sydney Sampson | Last updated: Feb 06, 2024

The royal family is no stranger to extravagant gifts, but sometimes, they receive presents that are so fabulously bizarre that they leave the rest of us scratching our heads in confusion. From rare animals to quirky inventions, the royal gift collection is a treasure trove.

Let’s dive into a whimsical journey through history to discover the weirdest and most fantastic gifts ever received by the royal family, ranked in order of how much I personally would want to receive it.

A 147 ft Super-Yacht

It may not be practical, but it sure is luxurious. Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace were lucky enough to receive a massive 147-foot-long superyacht from shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis as a wedding present. A superyacht sure puts the normal toaster oven to shame, right?


Photo by Alina Kacharho on Unsplash

The yacht is still setting sail today, now for Quasar Expeditions. If you’ve got ‘charter a yacht’ money, you could rent the same yacht once given to the royal family.

Private Island Resort

Colin Tennant, a British aristocrat, once gifted Princess Margaret a 10 square mile plot on his private Caribbean resort island. Tennant owned the island, and gave her the plot to build a tropical resort as a wedding present. 


Photo by Rick Jamison on Unsplash

That plot of land was the only property Princess Margaret owned outright during her life, and it was reported that she made annual trips to the property, spending as much time as she could there.

Top Secret Elton John Song

Many couples claim to have ‘their song’ but when Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson say it, they mean it in the most literal sense.  For their 1986 wedding, they received one extra special wedding gift from Sir Elton John himself. 


Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

He wrote and performed a new song just for the happy couple at their wedding, kept top secret from anyone not in attendance. To this day, it hasn’t been released or performed at any other occasion.

Grasshopper Wine Cooler

In the 70s, the president of France gifted the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh a large, custom made brass drinks table. What made it unusual wasn’t just that it was shaped like a grasshopper. 


Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

To give it an extra special royal touch, when you adjusted the wings, it converted into a wine cooler. If anyone wants gift ideas for me this holiday season, look no further!

Amphibious Boat

When Prince George visited Australia in 2014, the young royal received maybe the coolest gift any toddler has ever been given – a boat that can go straight from land to the water!

Photo by Jill Heyer on Unsplash

The miniature Sealegs speedboat was specifically designed for him. He was only 1 when he was presented with the boat, so it may not have been the safest gift to give a toddler, but maybe that’s what royal bodyguards are for?


A Packet of Fairy Dust

Perhaps in a quest to give the royal family something they didn’t already have (I think this list has proven what a difficult task that would be), in 2016, Prince Charles was given a packet of fairy dust by a member of the public during a state visit to New Zealand.

Photo by Molly Triplett on Unsplash

It’s unknown if the dust was authentic and what magical powers it grants its owners, but suffice to say, it’s definitely a unique gift.


A Toilet Made of Solid Gold

The story behind the gift is as strange as the gift itself. This 18-karat fully-functional throne, valued at $6 million and titled “America,” was a gift from an Italian artist. It was on display in Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, for only two days before it was stolen. 

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

However since it was a fully functional toilet, the robbery caused flooding and severe damage to the palace. To this day, the toilet has never been found.


A Piece of the Berlin Wall

In 1989, the world watched as the Berlin Wall came down, symbolizing the end of the Cold War. A few years later, Queen Elizabeth II was among the heads of state to receive a piece of the historic wall. 

Photo by Melissa Mullin on Unsplash

The piece featured bits of blue and red graffiti, meaning it likely came from the side facing West Germany. How many of us can say we own such an important piece of history?


Every Single British Dolphin

Maybe this isn’t a gift in the traditional sense, but it comes with the royal title, so technically it counts.

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Did you know that the royal family owns all the dolphins and whales in British waters? According to an old 1300s law, all fish caught within 3 miles of UK soil are decreed “fishes royal” and property of the royal family. While none of the modern royal family members have ever exercised their right to claim the fish as their own, they could.


A Sword Made From Shark Teeth

When the Queen visited the Pacific Island of Kiribati, she was given the strangest and coolest sword I’ve ever seen outside of a science fiction movie. The sword itself is made of wood, with rows of shark teeth tied to both ends with coconut fibers. 

Photo by Gerald Schömbs on Unsplash

Making weapons in this fashion is a tradition in Kiribati that goes back centuries. These days, you can see the sword for yourself for free in the British Museum.


£18,000 Cottage Playhouse

Prince George’s playhouse puts even the most enviable Barbie dream house to shame. For his first birthday, his grandpa, King Charles, gave the little prince a Victorian-style playhouse worth a whopping £18,000. 

Photo by K F on Unsplash

The regal playhouse features a genuine wood-burning stove and a daybed. The 12 by 6 square foot cottage is even on wheels! What more could a child want?


A Live Elephant Named Jumbo

The late Queen Elizabeth II was the recipient of a host of wild animals during her 70-year reign. One of which was Jumbo, the 6-year-old African Elephant gifted by the President of Cameroon in the 70’s. Apparently on his flight to the United Kingdom he was given in-flight meals of bananas, avocados, and sugar.

Photo by Nam Anh on Unsplash

Some of the other large exotic animals the Queen was gifted were jaguars from Brazil, hippos from Liberia, and tortoises from Seychelles.


Two Solid Silver Kiwis

In 1960, Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret was married to photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones. Prior to the wedding, each commonwealth country sent the happy couple a wedding present. From New Zealand, they received a pair of solid silver kiwi statues, one of which carries an egg. 

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

While the pair of birds might be an unusual wedding gift, they’re also adorable, and would make good bookends.


A Hand Crafted Canoe

In case anyone in the royal family ever gets bored of riding around in cars, carriages, or planes, they always have the option of traveling down the Thames in a hand crafted traditional Maori canoe, courtesy of the New Zealand government.

Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

Rather than keeping it for themselves in Buckingham palace, it’s currently on display in the British Museum for all to see and admire.


Land in Antarctica

For the Diamond Jubilee Celebration, a UK foreign office renamed a piece of the land after Queen Elizabeth ll. Aptly titled “Queen Elizabeth Land,” the area stretches 169,000 square miles, nearly twice the size of the United Kingdom.

Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash

If you can believe it, this is the second stretch of Antarctic land to be named after her royal highness. If you’re ever in Antarctica make sure never to confuse Queen Elizabeth Land for Princess Elizabeth Land, named by the Australian government before she was officially crowned queen.


A Customized Motorcycle

Prince William and Prince Harry share a love for motorcycles, and they’ve received some fabulous two-wheeled gifts throughout the years. One item on Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge’s Wedding Registry: a custom-made Ducati motorcycle. 

Photo by Glen Alejandro on Unsplash

William was later seen riding this bike, which featured carbon fiber panels, lightweight wheels, and his wedding date engraved at the top. At the time of the royal wedding, it was valued at £17,000, though it’s gotten significantly more expensive since then.


A Personalized Surfboard

During the same Australian visit where Prince George was given an amphibious boat, he was also gifted a personalized 6-foot-tall surfboard with his name and paintings of sea creatures.

Photo by roman raizen on Unsplash

Since the future king was only a baby when it was given, his parents vowed to bring Prince George back to the area once he’s old enough to ride his new board.


A Fake Feast of Sugar

King Henry IV of France was centuries ahead of the “is it cake?” trend. In an effort to impress his bride to be, he sent his fiancé a surprise banquet table piled high with a multi-course feast. 

Only, it wasn’t really food.

Photo by Robert Anderson on Unsplash

Instead, it was all just sugar, carved and painted to look like hyperrealistic plates of meat and vegetables. What a tragedy that this man lived hundreds of years too soon to see the TikTok cake trend.


A Piece of the Moon

Apollo 11’s 1969 moon landing was a momentous event for humanity, and it also led to an extraordinary gift for the Queen. President Richard Nixon gifted Queen Elizabeth II a piece of lunar rock, making her the proud owner of a chunk of the moon. 

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

The same gift was sent to every head of state at the time, so they were tiny chunks, but still. It’s a larger piece of the moon than you or I have.


Two Sloths

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was famously an animal lover and owned hundreds of exotic creatures during her reign. Following her 1986 state visit to Brazil, she was gifted two sloths to add to her royal collection. 

Photo by Javier Mazzeo on Unsplash

Unfortunately for the sloths, they never made it to Buckingham Palace. Instead, they were given to the Royal Zoo to be cared for by professionals.


Personalized Hockey Jerseys

During their royal visit to Canada, Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton were gifted customized hockey jerseys by the Canadian Olympic team. 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The jerseys had their names and the royal couple’s official monogram on the backs, giving a whole new meaning to “royal team spirit.” At that same visit, William was also given polar bear cufflinks and a broach to match.


A Flag That’s Been to Space

Tim Peake is a British astronaut, officer in the British Army Corps, and former crew member of the International Space Station. When in Space, he wore a Union Flag on his uniform that he later gifted to Queen Elizabeth II.

Photo by Nasa on Unsplash

The pin was actually a historic landmark in its own right, as it was the first Union Flag to be worn in space.


A Golden Invitation

What do you give the people who have everything? Apparently, dinner party invitations written with solid gold paint. In 1972, the King and Queen of Thailand sent Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh a golden box decorated with the Thailand National emblem and a 14-karat gold party invitation inside. 

Photo by Salah Ait Mokhtar on Unsplash

With an invitation that ornate, we can only imagine how spectacular the dinner must have been!


Wedding Cake Ingredients

Elizabeth and Charles’ wedding planning coincided with the end of World War II, when much of Europe was still dealing with economic devastation. There was an ongoing national food shortage, which made getting a royal wedding cake significantly more complicated. 

Photo by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

This is where the Australian Girl Guides Association stepped in. They fundraised to send Queen Elizabeth ingredients for the cake – boxes of flour, sugar, eggs traveled across the ocean to support the royals’ special day.


A Painting of Queen Elizabeth on a Blue Horse

During a German state visit, the German government gifted Queen Elizabeth ll with a particularly strange painting. The brightly colored abstract art was based on an old photograph of her as a child horseback riding with her father. 

Photo by Asim Rehman on Unsplash

Elizabeth was less than pleased with the painting, commenting that the blue was a “funny color for a horse” and asking “is that supposed to be my father?”


A Box of Mud

Okay, this is actually a better gift than the title would suggest. In 2014, Wellington Barracks presented Queen Elizabeth II with a silver box filled with soil from the battlefields of World War I. This symbolic gift is a heartwarming gesture – until you realize that this was the same year Prince George was given his personalized surfboard, mini-speed boat, and mini cottage!

Photo by Susan Green on Unsplash

Being a member of a royal family certainly has its perks, not the least of which is a seemingly endless supply of gifts! While some fall under the “normal gift” side of things, some are downright strange. Between exotic animals, pieces of the moon, and pieces of history, it’s too hard to say which is the “best” gift. For now, our official opinion is that they’re all equally marvelous in all their otherworldliness.