To mark the important principle of friendship that underlies The Queen’s visits to Commonwealth countries, or her attendance at Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings, an exchange of gifts is always made. Gifts to The Queen given on such occasions take many different forms. They are often examples of local craftsmanship and artistic traditions, and are presented in the traditional ceremonies of the indigenous peoples. In The Queen’s realms, gifts have also taken the form of scholarships, bursaries, foundations, and even parks created in her name, and these now number many thousands.
Some items are loaned to an appropriate organisation, for example a Maori canoe, given by the government of New Zealand, is on long-term loan to the British Museum, and two floor mats given by Queen Salote and the Tongan people are at the Royal Scottish Museum.