No good deed goes unpunished! At least that’s what Mahatma Gandhi probably thought after gifting Queen Elizabeth II (then Princess Elizabeth) a hand spun tray cloth as a wedding gift.
According to The Sun, the story goes that Gandhi wanted to gift the princess something in honor of her upcoming nuptials to Prince Philip, but because he had given away all of his possessions, he was at a loss about what to give her. That’s when India’s governor general Lord Mountbatten had the bright idea to make her something instead. “My father, however, knew he still had his spinning wheel and he told Gandhi: ‘If a cloth could be made from yarn you have spun, that would be like receiving the Crown Jewels,'” Mountbatten’s daughter, who also happened to be serving as one of Princess Elizabeth’s bridesmaids, recalled.
Unfortunately, the sentiment got lost in translation and reportedly left some members of the family “outraged” upon receipt of the gift. But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? WRONG. Keep reading after the jump to learn more about the commotion the gift stirred.
Queen Mary wasn't pleased with Gandhi's gift
As reported by The Sun, the princess’s grandmother, Queen Mary, mistook Mahatma Gandhi’s handmade tray cloth as a… wait for it… loincloth. YIKES.
In fact, it was Queen Mary, who had the most visceral reaction. According to Pamela Hicks, a bridesmaid in the royal wedding for the future queen and Prince Philip, she was both shocked and horrified that her granddaughter received such a gift. It was reported that she even went as far as to describe it as the most “indelicate” gift.
Alas, it appears Queen Elizabeth II grew fond of the confusing present over the years — so much so that she regifted it to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “sentimental gesture” during his 2018 trip to the United Kingdom.
We cannot help but wonder if this debacle could have been completely prevented had the royal couple simply had access to an Amazon wedding registry back then. Jeff Bezos, where were you when the royal family needed you most?!
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