Queen ‘needs comforts of home’ on royal tours say experts
Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is one of the most well-travelled monarchs in the world, jetting off for both leisure purposes and as part of her as head of state. During many of these official visits, it is not uncommon for Her Majesty to be bestowed with gifts from those she visits.
Often these gifts include locally made crafts, flowers and food offerings, on some occasions the gifts she receives are somewhat more out-of-the-ordinary.
In 1968, the Queen and her husband Prince Phillip flew to Brazil for a week-long visit as part of their royal tour.
During her visit she made such an impression on the nation, the Prefect of Brasília decided to gift her with something very memorable.
According to the Royal Collection Trust, Queen Elizabeth was given a sloth and two jaguars.
She decided to name the jaguars Marques and Aizita, while the sloth’s name is not known.
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All of the animals were sent to London Zoo where they could be looked after by professionals.
While gifting exotic animals may sound rather bizarre, it is actually fairly common for the Royal Family.
In fact, according to the Royal Collection Trust, during her reign, The Queen has “received many animals as official gifts”.
“These have included a number of horses, some of which have been used for riding, others for carriage driving,” states the Trust.
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“More exotic animals have been cared for at ZSL London and Whipsnade.
“Recent animal gifts have often remained in their home country, such as the white Nguni bull presented by the King of the Zulus in South Africa in 1995.”
In 1956, the Queen was gifted two trumpeter swans from British Colombia, in Canada.
In 1957, she was given a Jersey cow called Beauchamp Oxford Lady from the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society. The cow now resides at within the royal dairy herd at Windsor.
The people of Fiji, bestowed the gift of a pig upon her, though it maintained its home on the island.
Similarly, the people of Vanuatu also offered a pig to Queen Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty also now owns some rather exotic animals as part of her global collection.
These include a young Nile crocodile called Mansa which was gifted by the People of Berending on the Gambia River. This was sent to London Zoo.
Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia gifted Queen Elizabeth four bare-eyed cockatoos, two white Bennett’s wallabies and one draft cassowary, which all now live in London Zoo.
In 1970, the Queen received two American beavers and an Arctic fox from Hudson’s Bay Company in Canada.
Meanwhile, in 1972, she was gifted two young Aldabra giant tortoises from the Government and People of Seychelles, as well as an African forest elephant named Jumbo from President Ahidjo of Cameroon.
For all of the animals she is given, the rule of thumbs they are either placed into adequate care, such as at London Zoo, or they remain in their homeland.
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