This was one of Lifestyle's top stories in 2018

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are being forced to return £7 million ($13.2m) of unsolicited gifts they received in celebration of their royal wedding after being bombarded with presents from companies and celebrities in an attempt to gain free publicity.

The Duchess of Sussex, known for her prowess when it comes to style, has already caused a shift in the fashion industry and has influenced many to buy certain products that she was worn, in what has been dubbed the Meghan Markle effect.

Due to this, many companies hope that Meghan will wear what they have sent her during her honeymoon when she and her new husband will reportedly spend time at the Fairmont Jasper Lodge in Alberta, Canada, according to the Daily Mail.

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Why aren't Prince Harry and Meghan Markle allowed to accept gifts from the public?

Ahead of the royal wedding, Harry and Meghan issued guidelines that revealed that cameras and hand luggage would be banned and mobile phones would have to be surrendered before the reception to avoid any "image capture".

In addition to this, the guidance read: "It should be noted that gifts cannot be brought to St George's Chapel or the Reception that follows at Windsor Castle. Guests are advised to seek further guidance on delivery arrangements for any gifts to Kensington Palace."

According to Express, Kensington Palace also released a statement that read: "When gifts are accepted, the consent of the Member of the Royal Family should be contingent upon the enterprise undertaking not to exploit the gift for commercial purposes.

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England. Photo / AP

"Gifts offered by private individuals living in the UK not personally known to the Member of the Royal Family should be refused where there are concerns about the propriety or motives of the donor or the gift itself."

A panel decided whether or not the gifts should be returned or simply donated to charities. One company, Bags of Love, have reportedly sent Meghan swimwear in hopes that she will wear it on their honeymoon.

However, it was also revealed that Harry and Meghan set up a wedding registry for their closest families and friends with the members' club Soho House, which reportedly contained a number of home items to help them furnish their 21-room Apartment 1.

How did Harry and Meghan ask wellwishers to honour their royal wedding?

Meghan and Harry instead asked their family and friends to donate to the seven charities that they had personally selected to honour their big day.

These charities were CHIVA (Children's HIV Association), Crisis, Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty's Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK.

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What will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle not be returning?

To mark their marriage, the Queen gave her grandson and his new wife the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well as a stately home, which of course, they will not be returning.

Alongside this, French President Emmanuel Macron gifted them a James Bond themed cigar cutter set from the prestigious Paris-based brand S.T. Dupont. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also revealed that Canada will donate £29,000 ($55,000) to the youth charity named Jumpstart.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the country will be making a donation of £2500 ($4750) to Pillars, a charity that supports the families of prisoners.

An official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with family. Photo / AP
An official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with family. Photo / AP

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that a donation will be made to the Invictus Games charity, which will be hosted in Sydney this year.

In addition to this, two koalas have been named after Harry and Meghan at Taronga Zoo in New South Wales as well as donating £2800 ($5300). In India, a local Peta charity said that an adopted injured bull would be called Merry, a fusion of both of their names.

Lesotho's Prince Seesio, a friend of Harry's who became close to the Prince during his time working for the charity Sentebale gave the new couple Wonderbags, portable, non-electric slow cookers that help African families cook despite fuel shortages.

Did Kate Middleton and Prince William return their wedding gifts?

Over the years, Kensington Palace has received a number of gifts and after their royal wedding back in 2011, Kate Middleton and Prince William were forced to turn away £30m ($57m) worth of presents.

Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie during the wedding ceremony. Photo / AP
Prince William, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie during the wedding ceremony. Photo / AP

They were also inundated with gifts after the births of Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.