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Meghan and Harry couldn't keep baby gifts sent for Archie - but can for second child

 Meghan and Harry had to follow royal protocol when Archie was born (Image: Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expecting a baby girl later this summer, making their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, a big brother.

As such, we're sure their nearest and dearest will be keen to celebrate the arrival of their new bundle of joy and they'll be inundated with all sorts of fabulous and adorable baby gifts.

And it's likely this time, they'll actually be able to keep most of them if they so desire.

Previously, as more senior members of the Royal Family, they were unable to accept certain presents given to mark Archie's birth, due to protocol.

The Royals have strict rules around all gifts - including those sent for birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries.

The Royal Family's guidelines state: "The fundamental principle governing the acceptance of gifts by Members of The Royal Family is that no gifts, including hospitality or services, should be accepted which would, or might appear to, place the Member of The Royal Family under any obligation to the donor.

"In this regard, before accepting any gift, careful consideration should always be given, wherever practicable, to the donor, the reason for and occasion of the gift and the nature of the gift itself. Equally, before declining the offer of a gift, careful consideration should be given to any offence that might be caused by such an action."

So what weren't they allowed to accept following Archie's birth?

The Royal Family are expected to refuse gifts from people they don't know if there are concerns about the motive behind the gift, or the person who sent it.

Similarly, as a general rule, royals are also meant to decline gifts sent by a commercial enterprise, such as a shop or fashion designer.

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Royal guidelines state that gifts sent from outside the UK should normally be refused unless the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or the Commonwealth Secretariat recommends they be accepted.

Money given as a gift is also considered to be a big no-no for the famous family, unless they are accepting it on behalf of a charity.

The only presents they were allowed to accept were those sent by a public body, including government bodies, trade associations, guilds, civic bodies, the armed services and charities - as long as they were from the UK.

Flowers or food might also be acceptable to keep, depending on who sent them, as well as books presented by an author (only if they aren't controversial).

Since stepping back from royal life and moving to the US, Harry and Meghan no longer have to follow royal protocol so rigorously.

However, it still seems unlikely they'll accept too many gifts when their daughter is born - especially from members of the public.

Following Archie's birth, they kindly asked for people who wanted to give something to donate to charity instead and we imagine they would wish for something similar this time around as well.

In a post on their official Instagram account back in 2019, a spokesperson said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are immensely grateful for the outpouring of love and support in anticipation of the birth of their first child.

"In lieu of sending gifts, the couple have long planned to encourage members of the public to make donations to select charities for children and parents in need. If you already made a donation, the couple send you their greatest thanks."

Four organisations were selected by the couple for the public to donate to. These included The Lunchbox Fund, The Little Village HQ, Well Child and Baby2Baby.

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