DECEMBER 06: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave the King Edward VII hospital where she has been treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, extreme morning sickness on December 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/FilmMagic)
by Maria Puente, USA TODAY
They must have needed an extra plane to get home when Will and Kate returned from their South Asia-South Pacific tour last fall, what with all the gifts they got in Singapore, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and faraway Tuvalu.
The official gift list, released today by palace officials for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (plus Prince Harry and Prince Charles and his wife Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall), fills pages, although nothing particularly startling or super-expensive stands out.
Lots of shoes, handbags, jewelry, silk scarves and shawls and batik saris for her. Dressing gowns, ties, baseball caps and football shirts for him. Also, teapots and teacups, teddy bears, children's drawings, photographs and greeting cards, books and DVDs, flowers, commemorative medals, coins and ceramic plates, woven baskets and many woven mats and fans from the tiny island of Tuvalu. These could come in handy later this summer when their first baby is born and when they move into a large, newly renovated apartment in Kensington Palace.
There were some unconventional items on the list: Chocolates and a piece of rose quartz in Singapore. Bags of produce in Singapore and the Solomons (did they get stopped at the border when they returned to the UK?). A carved club, model canoe and bamboo flutes in the Solomons.
Maybe the most costly gift was a set of twin South Sea pearls to the duchess from the wife of the prime minister of Malaysia.
As in the USA, official diplomatic gifts presented to public officials, such as the royals, are cataloged and made public. After their first international tour, to Canada and California in 2011, the list of gifts the Cambridges received ranged from cowboy hats to caribou antler goggles. American officials, such as presidents, aren't allowed to keep costly gifts but many items they collect over four or eight years eventually end up in presidential libraries.
Will and Kate spent about 10 days in South Asia and the South Pacific on their second overseas tour, considered a huge success. They represented his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, for her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in Commonwealth countries and realms honoring her 60th anniversary in 2012 since she came to the throne.
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