Queen's gift list features everything from llamas to dog beds
Queen Elizabeth, seen here greeting the public during a visit to the Royal Commonwealth Society in November, received hundreds of gifts, small and large, during her Diamond Jubilee year. (Getty Images)
It's always nice to receive presents, but -- as one might suspect -- it gets to wild and wacky proportions when you're the Queen. Especially during a Diamond Jubilee year.
As is its duty, Buckingham Palace has released a long list of gifts given to members of Royal Family in 2012, everything from exotic animals to tea towels to Tiffany jewellry.
The Queen's bounty includes 436 books, 235 CDs and DVDs, 81 pieces of embroidery or knitting and 19 tea towels. And just in case she needs them -- 78 portraits of herself.
Small stuff mostly, which, if not used by the Royal Family (for which they would pay tax), ends up as part of the Royal Household collection or given to charity.
Among the interesting items:
► Dog bed in the shape of a crown
► Tea cosy with knitted images of the Queen and her corgis.
► Honorary ownership of a baby llama
► Adoption papers for a baby elephant
► Two thrones made of willow and a third of Chinese enamel
► Lego model of the Tower Bridge
► 1950s Tiffany silver compact from Barack and Michelle Obama
► Gold, silver and bronze Olympic medal set from the International Olympic Committee
Prince Philip also received his share of nice presents, from six bottles of wine to a pair of Swarovski binoculars to a gold sword to a salad bowl. Mustn't forget the hologram of the prince driving his ponies.
Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex had a decent haul, including jewels from Kuwait and two feather headdresses from Trinidad and Tobago. Their list also included a CD on good manners from a member of the public in Canada and a box of Cadbury Fingers.
The 2012 gift list for Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate, and Prince Harry is released separately from Clarence House.
PRINCESSES FAIL THE RED LIGHT TEST
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie don't often get the spotlight to themselves amid their more famous Royal Family relatives, but they looked quite comfortable in their ambassador roles Thursday in Berlin.
The daughters of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are Germany as part of the GREAT campaign to promote UK trade and tourism. Even better for the British taxpayer, dad is picking up the two-day travel tab.
The sisters started at the Brandenburg Gate, climbing into their Union Jack-adorned Mini for a trip to the British Embassy. Perhaps feeling the media heat of the moment, Princess Eugenie was at the wheel when she ran a red light near the famous landmark on the 500-metre trip to the embassy. Police were on scene, but didn't press the point.
After all, this is all about photo-ops and the young royals seem very obliging on that score, but the trip is seen by some as nothing more than a stage for launching some kind of public presence for Andrew's kids. They are not tasked with performing royal duties, but their father is keen to make sure they get some share of the limelight as the fifth and sixth in line for the throne.
Writing in the Telegraph, royal watcher Cathy Newman says her sources indicate that this trip is more about promoting royals than trade. One government source told her: “You have to understand with the Royals: they do exactly what they like.” With Prince Andrew, the situation is "totally uncontrolled."
Politics aside, the princesses are putting on the charm for this trip, and they appear to be good at it. And while they don't attract the attention like Kate, they clearly have their own sense of style and are camera friendly. Princess Beatrice looked especially smart in green silk dress by Jonathon Saunders.
Beatrice, left, and Eugenie pose for photographers at the British Ambassador's residence on Thursday in Berlin. The royal sisters will visit Hanover on Friday as part of this two-day trip. (Getty Images)