Beaded ‘Yoruba throne’ among the gifts-set to go on show at “Buckingham Palace”

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A staff member adjusts a beaded Yoruba throne presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the people of Nigeria in 1956, during a preview for the exhibition of Royal Gifts, which is part of the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 3, 2017. Visitors will be able to view more than 250 of the countless official presents given to the monarch during her 65-year reign. See PA story ROYAL Gifts. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A beaded throne, a totem pole and a “Buckingham Palace” London Underground sign are among the gifts presented to the Queen which are set to go on show in a special exhibition.

Visitors to the annual summer opening of the state rooms at Buckingham Palace will be able to view more than 250 of the countless official presents given to the monarch during her 65-year reign.

Royal Gifts will showcase items from over 100 countries presented during state visits, overseas tours and official engagements, as well as those marking significant moments in the Queen’s life.

Among them will be a colourful beaded Yoruba throne presented to the Queen by the people of Nigeria in 1956.

Beadwork and royalty are closely associated in Yoruba culture, and large quantities of beads are considered a sign of wealth and status.

The interlaced motifs on the throne hold spiritual meaning, including respect for ancestors.

Other gifts include a 78cm carved wooden totem pole topped with a mythical thunderbird with outstretched wings, made by the Kwakiutl people of Canada’s north-west coast and given to the Queen during a tour of Canada in 1971.

It is not the only totem pole the Queen has received. A 100ft (30.5 metre) tall one, carved from a single log of Western Red Cedar, stands in Windsor Great Park – a present from the people of British Columbia in 1958.

The Queen’s personalised London Underground sign will also be on show.

She picked up the specially commissioned “Buckingham Palace” version of the famous logo on a tour of Aldgate station in 2010, describing it at the time as a “fantastic gift”.

The exchanging of gifts is an important part of state visits and overseas tours, and stands as a symbol of goodwill between two countries.

In 2015 during the Chinese state visit, President Xi Jinping gave the Queen a model of the Vessel of Friendship treasure ship sailed by the 15th-century Chinese navigator and diplomat Zheng He.

It is decorated with a dove, an olive branch medallion and traditional Chinese symbols of friendship and peace.

Gifts given to the Queen during the 100 or so audiences with Ambassadors and High Commissioners she holds each year include a terracotta figure of The Great Mother.

It was presented to the head of state in 2013 by the Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia, Jovan Donev, and is a replica of the famous Neolithic figure discovered in Tumba Madzari in Skopje.

Among the more unusual gifts is a bag of salt from Salt Island – one of the British Virgin Islands – sent in celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. The 1lb bag is traditionally given to the British monarch every year as rent for the island.

The Queen – the nation’s longest-reigning monarch – is the most travelled sovereign in British history, undertaking more than 250 overseas visits during her 65-year reign, according to the Royal Collection.

Royal Gifts forms part of the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace from July 22 to October 1 2017.

Staff members hold the wings of a wooden totem pole carved by the Kwakiutl people of Canada’s north-west coast, presented to Queen Elizabeth II in 1971 during her visit to the country, during a preview for the exhibition of Royal Gifts, which is part of the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 3, 2017. Visitors will be able to view more than 250 of the countless official presents given to the monarch during her 65-year reign. See PA story ROYAL Gifts. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A staff member adjusts the Vessel of Friendship, a model of the ‘treasure ship’ sailed by 15th-century Chinese navigator and diplomat Zeng He, presented to Queen Elizabeth II by President Xi Jinping of China in 2015, during a preview for the exhibition of Royal Gifts, which is part of the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 3, 2017. Visitors will be able to view more than 250 of the countless official presents given to the monarch during her 65-year reign. See PA story ROYAL Gifts. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
A staff member holds The Great Mother, a terracotta figure given to Queen Elizabeth II from the Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia Jovan Donev in 2013, during a preview for the exhibition of Royal Gifts, which is part of the annual Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday April 3, 2017. Visitors will be able to view more than 250 of the countless official presents given to the monarch during her 65-year reign. See PA story ROYAL Gifts. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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