A list published by Spain’s royal household has helped solve one of the world’s most enduring dilemmas. What do you buy for the man who has everything?
Spain’s Royal Household has for the first time published a list of the gifts accepted by its royal family, a measure introduced in a nod to transparency.
The list of 326 items received as gifts during 2015 by King Felipe VI, his wife, their two daughters and his parents King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, was published on Thursday.
Since coming to the throne in June 2014 after the abdication of his father King Juan Carlos, Felipe has made efforts to clean up the public image of the monarchy which had been tainted by a series of scandals.
He introduced public audits of palace accounts and brought in rules forbidding members of his family from accepting extravagant gifts.
During the reign of King Juan Carlos presents such as a Ferrari, a luxury yacht or an all expenses paid hunting trip to Botswana were not considered unusual.
But the list declaring royal gifts shows that for the most part the presents received by the royal family were ceremonial, ornamental and bordering on the mundane.
Countless gifts of commemorative plaques, coins, keyrings and model miniatures – from airplanes to a miniature wind turbine – were handed over to the royals.
But some gifts were more inspired. Here is a look at some of the best pressies fit for a King.
Game of Thrones Box Set
— El chico de la gorra (@guyspain) 15 de abril de 2015
One of the more memorable gifts received by King Felipe was a Games of Thrones box set. Pablo Iglesias, the firebrand leader of Spain’s radical left wing party Podemos, gave the monarch the hit TV drama “to help him understand the political crisis in Spain”.
Bo and Barack jigsaw
When King Felipe and Queen Letizia visited the White House last year they returned with gifts from the Obamas to their daughters. A jigsaw puzzle set picturing the President playing with his dog Bo in the White House. And of course the children’s book “Of Thee I Sing” penned by Barack Obama himself.
Saddle and sword
Photo: Susie Blackmon/Flickr
The King and Queen of Jordan chose to honour King Felipe with the gift of a Jordanian handmade leather saddle and of course a ceremonial sword to go along with it.
Photo: Dino Borelli/Flickr
It is important for a monarch to keep up to date with modern transportation systems and be aware of the methods the hoi polloi must use to get around, which is precisely why Spain’s Ministry of Transport and Industry chose to send him a model railway set for Christmas.
Ties and cufflinks
It's important to remember that whatever role one has in society a man can NEVER have enough ties… or cufflinks. King Felipe was presented with countless sets of cufflinks and ties, from Spanish companies and organisations as well visiting dignitaries. He was even given a set of Alpaca wool scarves by the Peruvian president.
Jolly Hockey sticks!
Photo: Anthony Easton/Flickr
Known as a keen sportsman, the organisers of Spain’s National Sports Awards thought it might be time he was introduced to a new game, so they sent over a pair of ice-hockey sticks.
After a hard day on the throne, even a king needs to slouch around. And what better way than in a sweatshirt emblazoned with the name of one's alma mater? Just in case the orginal hadn't survived since his days as a student in Washington DC, on a recent visit there he was given the gift of a new one.
It is surely on the wish list of all self-respecting males. King Felipe was presented with his very own model of a wind turbine by a renewable energy firm, an exact tiny copy of the type dotting the Spanish landscape.
France may have removed the heads of its own royals centuries ago but President Francois Hollande knew better than to come empty handed to a meeting with Spain’s King. Still, he didn’t want to look like he had gone to too much effort for an institution clearly disapproved of. So, a box of handkerchiefs was the resulting gift.
Spain has made great efforts to right one of its greatest historical wrongs and welcome back descendants of those Sephardic jews kicked out during the Spanish Inquisition. As the monarch of the country now offering citizenship to them, King Felipe was awarded with a CD of Sephardic music.