Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Royal Wedding
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan ride a horse-drawn carriage after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are reportedly sending back £7 million (AU$12.3 million) in gifts they received for their wedding. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received hundreds of gift boxes and parcels from celebrities and companies alike despite asking for charity donations as gifts instead.

Express reports that the newlyweds will have to return wedding presents from people and establishments using them to get publicity. An example of such company, according to the paper, is Bags of Love, which makes personalised swimwear. It reportedly sent the couple a matching bikini and swimming truck combo, hoping that Harry and Meghan would wear them on their honeymoon.

The practice of returning gifts is not uncommon, as per Kensington Palace. According to the official rules, “When gifts are accepted, the consent of the Member of the Royal Family should not be contingent upon the enterprise undertaking not to exploit the gift for commercial purposes.”

Another guideline states: “Gifts offered by the private individuals living in the UK not personally known to the Member of the Royal Family should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself.”

Weeks before their wedding on May 19, Harry and Meghan particularly asked for well-wishers to send donations to charities instead of giving them gifts. They chose seven organisations for consideration, but any other non-profit charities would do.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull obeyed the request by having the government donate $10,000 to the Australian International Military Games Limited. However, he also sent the duke and duchess matching Akubra hats that were handmade in New South Wales.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donated CA$50,000 (AU$51,610) to Jumpstart, which aims to make sports accessible to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden also made a £2,500 (AU$4,400) to Pillars, a charity supporting children of prisoners, on behalf of the country.