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Queen Elizabeth The Queen wears a pair of 3D glasses studded with jewels. (John Stillwell / Reuters)

Gifts Fit for a Queen

The United Kingdom releases an official list of the gifts given to Queen Elizabeth II in honor of her Diamond Jubilee

By Tyrus Cukavac | January 30 , 2013
<p>One of Queen Elizabeth’s gifts was a llama, like the one pictured above. (istockphoto.com)</p>

One of Queen Elizabeth’s gifts was a llama, like the one pictured above. (istockphoto.com)

Queen Elizabeth II has a lot of thank-you notes to write! Buckingham Palace, the residence of the royal family in the United Kingdom, has just released a list of the gifts received by the Queen to celebrate her six decades on the throne.

Elizabeth took the throne of England in 1952, following the death of her father, King George VI. In 2012, she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, the 60th anniversary of her reign. It is only the second Diamond Jubilee in the history of the British kingdom. World leaders, diplomats, and even certain businesses gave gifts to the Queen to mark this special occasion.

Many of the gifts required a high degree of craftsmanship, or skill, to make. President Obama sent the Queen a 1950s silver compact, or container for makeup, from Tiffany & Co., a famous jewelry store. The Emir of Kuwait gave the Queen a set of precious jewelry from his country. She even received a full set of Olympic medals from the International Olympic Committee–bronze, silver, and gold.

But the Queen acquired more than jewels and fancy items. She was named the honorary owner of a baby llama. One donor even adopted a baby elephant in her name.

The British government also named a portion of Antarctica in the Queen’s honor. The previously unnamed frozen land covers 169,000 square miles. Now known as Queen Elizabeth Land, it is almost twice the size of the United Kingdom.

The Queen even received a doggy bed for her famous pets, a family of Welsh corgis. What makes this pet bed especially royal? It’s shaped like a crown, of course!

In total, the Queen received 140 gifts from governments and state officials to commemorate, or honor, her Diamond Jubilee. Some of these gifts will go into the royal collection, but many of them will be donated to charity.

ROYAL REMEMBRANCE

The English monarchs, or royal rulers, governed England for centuries. But beginning in the 1800s, the British government slowly became more democratic. The monarchy currently exists mostly as a symbol of British culture.

Parliament, a government body that consists of an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords, currently makes the country’s laws. The Prime Minister leads the British government and serves in a role similar to that of the U.S. President.

Yet many British citizens adore the Queen, and the royal family has many fans around the world. The list of gifts from the public is even longer than that from governments and state officials! Some of these gifts included 436 books, 235 CDs and DVDs, 78 portraits, and 9 jigsaw puzzles.

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