I was recently going through an old photo album, and came across some amusing letters.
One of my late father-in-law's postings was to Nepal. Much of his work involved 'pressing the flesh', partying, getting naughty Brits out of prison, holding banquets for visiting dignitaries, etc. All typical diplomatic stuff.
He also received invitations to most major events; one of which was the above. The marriage of his friend the Maharaja's son to the eldest Princess daughter of His Majesty the King of Nepal in 1948.
Sadly not all invitations were what they seemed, and attending weddings was out of the question. It was accepted that having a person 'outside the faith' attend a Nepalese wedding was (in those days) totally verboten, and in recompense a 'bag of money' was sent to those who were unable to witness the ceremony in person.
Of course the FO has rules, and any gifts given to diplomats over a certain value become the property of The Crown, and have to be handed over.
I wonder what the FO does with all its 'gifts'? Maybe there's some big basement somewhere in Whitehall, filled with bags of money, fancy clocks, and ceremonial swords, etc.
Even a simple old invitation from the late 40's has a story.