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Posted at 05:41 PM ET, 05/24/2011

Obama scores with better gifts for Queen Elizabeth

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose with Barack and Michelle Obama during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday. (Chris Jackson/AP)
Well done! As Obama’s state visit to England began Tuesday, the president gave the royal family classier gifts than the controversial iPod he presented to the queen in 2009 — which many critics deemed too impersonal.

This time, Queen Elizabeth received a leather-bound album with memorabilia and photos of her parents’ (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) 1939 trip to the U.S., the first such visit by a reigning British monarch. For horse lover Prince Philip, a custom-made set of bits and
(The Obamas chat with Wills and Kate, the royal newlyweds. (Charles Dharapak/AP))
shanks and horseshoes worn by Jamaica, a U.S. champion carriage horse. Gardeners Prince Charles and Camilla got a selection of plants, seeds and honey from the grounds of Mount Vernon, Monticello and White House.

The queen presented Obama with letters (copies, actually) from the royal archives between Queen Victoria and several U.S. presidents; the first lady received an antique gold and coral brooch.

One more present: The Obamas donated six computers to the Northern Ireland chapter of PeacePlayers International, a D.C.-based charity sponsored by newlyweds Wills and Kate.

By  |  05:41 PM ET, 05/24/2011

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