Buying a wedding gift can often be a tricky task at the best of times, how do you best show your joy at the wedding for other people in one item? Do you opt for something they will enjoy? Or perhaps something more practical to use around their home? The options are endless.
It is probably a reasonable assumption that the difficulty of such a task is only increased when one half of the happy couple you are buying for is the Queen. This might go some way to explaining some of the more peculiar items Queen Elizabeth II received in the wake of her wedding ceremony to Prince Phillip.
In today's day and age, the younger royals barely miss a trick when it comes to gifting each other luxurious items, Prince William has been known to surprise wife Kate Middleton with glamorous jewellery for her birthdays, while the Duchess of Cambridge herself has opted for more humorous presents – such as the "Grow your own Girlfriend" she gifted Prince Harry before he eventually met wife Meghan Markle.
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However, seven decades ago the attitudes towards wedding gifts was in stark contrast to what they are now. According to the documentary The Majestic Life of Queen Elizabeth II, which was aired in 2014, both the Queen and Prince Phillip received nearly 1,700 presents following their ceremony. A bizarre chunk of that 1,700 figure were nylon stockings for the Queen – hardly extravagant.
Royal biographer Robert Lacey did provide some clarity on why these may have been the most popular gift: "One of the charming things is that, I think, of the 1700 or so wedding presents that were officially listed, several hundreds were nylon stockings, which loyal ladies in the country decided to send to the princess."
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Though it may seem odd that nylons were the gift of choice for so many people for the monarch, there is a heartfelt meaning behind it.
Given the fact that the pair wed so close after the conclusion of WW2, people were still feeling the effects of rationing, clothes were rationed and nylon stockings were near impossible to get hold of. Though the Queen may have had more access to the material than commoners, the gesture was sweet nonetheless.
Other bizarre gifts included, according to the documentary, a box of apples, two dozen handbags, and 12 bottles of sloe gin.
Perhaps the strangest gift of all were the 500 tins of pineapple they received.
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