When the Countess of Wessex and her husband, Prince Andrew embarked on a pre-Christmas trip to the Middle East, many were surprised Bahrain was on the itinerary.
After all, despite claims at reforms, the al-Khalifa dynasty in charge of the country was still overseeing a crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.
With many imprisoned, injured or killed, the country had faced calls to enter into meaningful dialogue with protestors. It was, perhaps more surprising that the Countess of Wessex would accept jewellery from the Bahraini royal family estimated to be worth millions of dollars.
Now this has been exposed, instead of embarrassment and a quick return of the tainted goods - the Countess has held on to her new 'treasures'. Politicians and pro-democracy campaigners are urging the British Royal family to reconsider.
This is just another example of the continued cosy relationships between the Monarchy in Britain and dynasties across the Middle East, some with appalling human rights abuse records.