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Gifts fit for a Princess

On Monday, Princess Charlotte celebrated her first birthday. Most children get a cake and a few gifts from loved ones. If you’re fourth in line to the throne, you’re likely to receive presents ranging from the extravagant to the playful from world leaders, dignitaries and presidents. You know, just your average birthday fare for a peanut princess. Here are some of the gifts the little royal has received over the past year.

Kensington Palace said Charlotte received gifts from 64 countries. Some presents were delivered in-person when dignitaries and presidents visited the UK for state visits like the fancy silk figurines from China’s President Xi Jinping. These were of characters from the 19th century novel, dream of the Red Chamber. Or the silver rattle from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, and his wife, Señora Angélica Rivera.

While other gifts were more practical. Charlotte’s Aunt Pippa gave her biodegradable nappies made from “natural mull cloth.” The Australian government sent her a crib blanket made of Tasmanian merino wool. New Zealand’s Prime Minister gifted her with teddy bears, blankets and booties woven from Stansborough wool.

No first birthday would be complete without toys or books. Prime Minister David Cameron kept his gift simple, yet significant when he gave the little princess a copy of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales. She can read these stories for years to come and pass them down to her own children one day.

US President Obama and his Michelle gave her a jigsaw puzzle and a soft toy replica of their dog, Bo. While Canada’s former Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, sent her a snowsuit and a book and made a $100,000 donation to Immunize Canada.

Some presents were more sentimental such as the hand-made woven willow rattle from an Irish basket-maker she received from her grandfather, the Prince of Wales. The King and Queen of Bhutan gave Charlotte two hand-made coats, given to her parents on their recent trip to their country.

On the occasion of her birth, Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, sent an Israeli-made girl’s dress inscribed with the words ‘from Israel with love’ along with a brooch with a charm of a heart and the hand-shaped symbol Hasma, representing blessing, fortune and success.

There was one gift, however that topped them all in its extravagance. The Natural Sapphire Company, a US-based business gave the princess an 18k gold white rattle covered in diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The rattle is valued at around $45,000- a truly extravagant gift. One I doubt the princess will be allowed to play with.

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