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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Royal gifts displayed to the public
Giant grasshopper wine cooler
The grasshopper wine cooler is moved into position
A brass and steel wine cooler in the shape of a giant grasshopper will be among hundreds of state gifts which will go on display to the public for the first time later this summer.

The Golden Jubilee exhibition, at Buckingham Palace, will mark the 200-plus state visits the Queen has made over her 50 years on the throne.

During her reign she has travelled further than any monarch in history, circling the globe many times and receiving more than 1,500 gifts.

The Queen has also received 75 heads of state on visits to Britain and on each occasion, an exchange of gifts has been made.

Dali drawings

More than 200 of these gifts will go on show at Buckingham Palace's Ball Supper Room in August, which will be opened in its entirety to the public for the first time.

Among the gifts in the exhibition is the two foot long "grasshopper" wine bottle cooler, made of steel, brass and Sevres porcelain, which was presented to the Queen by President Pompidou of France in 1972.

Other gifts will include a model of an outrigger canoe given by the local council of the island of San Cristobal on behalf of the Solomon Islanders in 1974 and a silk scarf presented to the Queen by South Africa's President Nelson Mandela in 1995.

In addition to the gifts from the heads of state, the exhibition will also include presents from individuals and organisations, such as two drawings given by the artist Salvador Dali to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1972.

Snail shells

However not all gifts take the form of works of art.

During her visits, the Queen has also received lacrosse sticks, sunglasses, a box of snail shells and a grove of maple trees as a memento of her visit.

Live animals have also been given as gifts including horses from around the world.

Some of the animals, such as a canary from Germany and jaguars and sloths from Brazil have been placed in the care of London Zoo.

The Golden Jubilee exhibition will run from 5 August to 29 September.

Advance tickets are available on the internet from or through the credit card hotline on 020 7321 2233.

See also:

23 Apr 02 | UK
Surge in Jubilee fever
24 Jan 02 | England
Garden celebrates Golden Jubilee
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