20 of the weirdest gifts the Queen has ever been given
PUBLISHED: 12:04 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:04 21 April 2018
As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 92nd birthday today, Courtney Pochin takes a look back at some of the quirkiest gifts she has been given over the years.
In 2015, John Duncan, Governor of The British Virgin Islands gave the Queen a 1lb bag of salt. This gesture represented an old tradition, where the archipelago’s Salt Island would pay the annual rent to Queen Victoria from its famous salt ponds.
• Horse Semen
It is said that during a visit to the Irish National Stud in Co Kildare, breeder Christina Patino offered the monarch £5,000 worth of horse sperm from one of her premium animals.
• A bar of dog soap
During a trip to the Australian mining town of Ballarat in Victoria, Her Majesty, who is well known for her love of dogs, was given a bar of Tilley’s “Timid Joe” dog soap, which is said to “instantly kill fleas and other vermin” and was popular among miners in the 19th century, as they shared tents with their dogs.
• A wine cooler shaped like a grasshopper
The large wine cooler was given as a gift by President and Mrs Pompidou of France in 1972. If you rotated its wings, the cooler turned into a drinks table.
• A sloth and two black jaguars
A visit to Brazil in 1968 resulted in the Queen being presented with a sloth and two black jaguars, Marques and Aizita, from the Prefect of Brasilia. These animals were all donated to London Zoo.
• A marzipan model of the Bandenburg Gate
President Joachim Gauck presented Her Majesty with a marzipan model of the Berlin landmark during a state visit to Germany in 2015.
• Banana leaf portrait
In 2006, the Queen was gifted a banana leaf portrait of herself, made by weaving together several shades of dyed banana leaves. The portrait was presented by Paul Kagame of Rwanda. It is based on Her Majesty’s official Golden Jubilee photograph.
• Homemade honey butter from the White House
In 2015, Michelle Obama sent the Queen a delightful gift box containing tea, a candle, two small pots of honey and a jar of honey butter which was made in the White House Kitchen. She also gave the Queen a silver vase from Tiffany & Co.
• A box of mud
In 2014 Wellington Barracks presented Her Majesty with a box of soil from the World War One battlefields.
• A crocodile
In 1961 she was given a Young Nile crocodile named Mansa from the People of Berending on the Zambia River. Like the other animals, this was sent to London zoo.
• An Oyster Card
To mark the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, the Queen was gifted a commemorative Oyster card while visiting Baker Street Station.
• A sword made from sharks’ teeth
During a trip to the Pacific island of Kiribati in 1982, she was presented with a shocking looking sword known as a Tebute. This is a weapon made from the wood of a coconut palm, with edges made from shark teeth.
• Ice hockey pucks
Over the years the Queen has been offered many ice hockey pucks from Canada, including the one used by Maurice Richard to score his world record 325th goal for the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club.
• Two American beavers
Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada gave the Queen two American beavers and an Arctic fox in 1972. These joined the crocodile, sloth and jaguars at London Zoo.
• Tinned pineapple
In 1947, the Queen was sent 500 cases of tinned pineapple as a wedding present from Australia. It is believed the tins would have been passed on to members of the public to aid the post-war recovery.
• A ceramic figure of Prince Charles alongside Postman Pat
In March 2013, the Queen was given a ceramic figure of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales standing alongside children’s cartoon character Postman Pat and his cat Jess. This was offered in Amman, Jordan.
• Whale teeth
Whenever Her Majesty heads to Fiji, local chiefs gift her with a whale tooth, or tabua in a traditional ceremony.
• A pair of cowboy boots
These were gifted from the US during her state visit in 1991, as it is well known she’s a horse fanatic.
• A Maori canoe
Given by the government of New Zealand, this item is currently on long-term loan to the British Museum.
• A tooth from a tunnelling machine
For the Queen’s 89th birthday, Crossrail, gave her a tooth from a tunnelling boring machine called Elizabeth. The machine was being used to build tunnels for a new rail under London at the time.