During the three years that Kellyanne Conway was senior counselor to the president in Donald Trump’s administration, she was one of the highest-ranking women and among those closest to Trump at the time. She may not have been an elected official, but being such a close political aide to the president does come with its perks, and Kellyanne Conway paid to keep a gift from Queen Elizabeth.
The New York Times outlines that when traveling abroad or welcoming guests, American officials can keep gifts that cost less than $390. Often, political leaders and heads of state will give members of visiting administrations gifts as a way to show they’re welcome. However, if a gift is over $390, then the official must buy it in order to keep it.
This may sound like a reasonable boundary, but The Atlantic outlines that some gifts given to the U.S. government in the past have been pretty outlandish and expensive. The publication writes that during his time in office, former President Barack Obama was offered a 20-inch steel sword in a gemstone-encrusted sheath from the Sultan of Malaysia, while Richard Nixon was gifted a panda from China.
When Kellyanne Conway visited the queen during the June 2019 state visit, the Daily Mail outlines that she was gifted something a little bit more house-friendly. However, it was clearly of a lot of value to Conway based on how much she paid for it.
She paid thousands for her picture of the Queen
According to the Daily Mail, a number of Trump’s aides received signed pictures of the queen during their visit to the U.K. in June 2019. The publication writes that at the end of the trip, Jared Kushner gave his back, choosing not to pay for it.
However, the Federal Register revealed that Kellyanne Conway decided to keep her copy, and in order to do so she paid $2,830. The file indicates that other high-ranking U.S. officials like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Lindsay Reynolds also received a picture from the queen but Conway was the only one to pay for it to keep it.
During her time in the U.K., Conway attended a State Banquet inside Buckingham Palace. Harper’s Bazaar explained that the royal affair meant that members of Trump’s team and the royal family ate alongside one another. Conway was walked into the banquet in a sparkly, floor-length dress.
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