An Unexpected Gift Exclusively Made For Queen Elizabeth Is Being Auctioned Off For A Pretty Penny

Being a member of Buckingham Palace certainly has many privileges; for instance, there are certain laws the royal family doesn't have to follow (like serving jury duty!). Surprisingly, however, being showered with presents isn't one of the perks. In fact, there's an actual royal gifts policy that the queen and her kin have to follow. They're allowed to accept small tokens from the public, such as flowers, food, and inexpensive tchotchkes. "Official" gifts, such as ones they might receive from the organizers of a charity event, are also okay. 

But the royals are expected to refuse any "extravagant" present, or one that "would, or might appear to, place the Member of the Royal Family under obligation to the owner." So think twice before you give Prince William a football jersey with your corporate logo.

This was a lesson that the video game brand THQ learned back in 2009. Hoping to get some royal publicity for their new "BIG Family Games" line, the company created a gold-plated Nintendo Wii specifically for Queen Elizabeth. The press release at the time said, "The Royal Family is arguably the most important family in the country so we felt that they had to have a copy of the new game. But we thought that Her Majesty the Queen wouldn't want to play on any old console, so an extra-special gold one was commissioned. We hope that she and the rest of the Royal Family enjoy the game!" (via Games Industry)

You can bid online for The Royal Wii

It would have been fun to see Queen Elizabeth play video games with her grandchildren on a 24-karat gold-plated Wii. (Knowing Her Majesty, she probably would have made a good showing!) But because it was a promotional gift, the console was returned by palace staff before the queen even had a chance to create an avatar and play a round. The games company THQ eventually went bankrupt, and in 2017, the unique Nintendo set was sold to Donny Fillerup, a man from the Netherlands (via The Toronto Star). He's an avid games console collector, and he called this "easily the most valuable console I own."

Fillerup kept his prize possession in a special display case in his home for a number of years before deciding that he needed money more than he needed bragging rights. In 2021, he sold "The Royal Wii" for an undisclosed amount, and that buyer in turn has consigned it to the Goldin online auction site, which specializes in entertainment and sports collectibles. The listing copy explains that the "ultimate Wii collectible" shows only slight signs of wear, and comes with a letter of provenance to show that it's the real thing.  "Royal Jewels not included," they add.

The gold gaming system has gotten only one offer — for a rather un-princely $1,500 — as of this writing, but the bidding is sure to go up before the auction ends on May 21. Fillerup told CNN that it has been valued at up to $1 million.