As President Obama has learned firsthand, exchanging gifts during formal state occasions can be a challenge.
The president was largely derided in the international media in 2009 after gifting former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a DVD set of 25 classic American movies, which reportedly included Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," that the premier was unable to play due to the DVD region code. It didn't help matters that the Obamas' 2009 visit to Buckingham Palace was also filled with what Time describes as "social missteps," while their gift to the Queen -- an engraved iPod pre-loaded with photos of her 2007 U.S. visit -- was mocked for being uncreative and tacky.
This time, as the Guardian is reporting, the Obamas fared far better, gifting Queen Elizabeth II with a collection of rare memorabilia and photographs telling the tale of her parents' 1939 visit to the U.S. And though their exclusion from the royal wedding guest list was widely considered a snub, the Obamas nonetheless adhered to Prince William and Kate Middleton's request for charitable donations in lieu of gifts, with six MacBook Notebook computers donated to their chosen Northern Irish charity, Peace Players International.
See what the Obamas exchanged with the British royals here:
The President and Mrs. Obama gave Queen Elizabeth II a collection of rare memorabilia and photographs in a handmade leather bound album that chronologically highlights King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's visit to the United States in 1939. Shown here with then-President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor, King George VI was the first reigning monarch to visit the United States, so the gift contains both historic and personal value, USA Today is reporting.
A fan of carriage driving, the Duke of Edinburgh received a custom-made set of Fell Pony shanks, each adorned with the Presidential Seal, in addition to original horseshoes worn by recently retired champion carriage horse Jamaica, the Guardian is reporting.
Aware that the newlyweds had recently asked for charitable donations in lieu of wedding gifts, the Obamas donated six MacBook notebook computers to the Northern Ireland chapter of PeacePlayers International, a global nonprofit organization selected by The Duke and Duchess to receive donations in honor of their wedding.
As the Guardian is reporting, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were presented with a selection of plants, seedlings and seeds from the gardens of Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate (see photo) and the South Lawn of The White House, as well as jars of honey from The White House beehive.
As USA Today is reporting, the Obamas were given "a selection of letters taken from the royal Archives to and from a number of presidents to Queen Victoria commencing with a letter from John Quincy Adams writing to Princess Victoria in 1834, a final letter by William McKinley in 1897 to Queen Victoria marking her diamond Jubilee year." The volume includes letters and watercolors regarding the Prince of Wales' trip to the U.S. in 1860 and letters in response to the death of the Prince Consort and Abraham Lincoln. The documents have been bound in book form, red leather with gold lettering and presented in a presentation box. Michelle was given an antique brooch in the form of roses made of gold and red coral, presented in a red leather jewel box made in the same leather as the book. In that broach, the leaves and stems were made of gold and the roses were made of red coral.