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Royal wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle request donations to charity instead of wedding gifts

PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle have announced the seven charities they would like their well-wishes to donate money to instead of sending them wedding gifts.

The charities all reflect the interests the couple hold — focusing on young people, the environment and veterans.

“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill shown to them since the announcement of their engagement and are keen that as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

“The couple have therefore asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion considers making a donation to charity, rather than sending a wedding gift.”

Kensington Palace said the couple did not have formal relationships with any of the charities chosen, but selected organisations that represented their shared values.

“ The couple have chosen charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces. Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work,” the statement said.

Prince Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana worked with HIV-positive people in the 1980s, when her involvement was seen as controversial. She often took him with her during her advocacy work.

Both Harry and Ms Markle have been vocal about their passion for charity work in their post-engagement interviews.

Ms Markle has also revealed in interviews how her own mother, social worker Doria Ragland, encouraged her to become “socially aware” from a young age.

The full list of charities include the Children’s HIV Association, Crisis- a national charity for homeless people, Myna Mahila Foundation- a charity which “empowers women in Mumbai’s urban slums”, Scotty’s Little Soldiers- an organisation for bereaved Armed Forces children and StreetGames- a group which uses sports to help young people in disadvantaged areas in England. Two environmental charities Surfers Against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK were also selected.

Representatives from each of the organisations expressed their gratefulness in being selected.

Suhani Jalota, who founded Myna Mahila in 2015, said: “Myna Mahila Foundation is delighted to be a part of this special occasion for Ms. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. This support will enable us to expand our reach into more urban slums in Mumbai, empowering local women through access to menstrual hygiene products and employment opportunities.”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers founder, Nikki Scott, said: “To have been personally chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is an incredible honour for Scotty’s Little Soldiers and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity. Having met Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace last year, I know that the Armed Forces and looking after the children our heroes have left behind is close to his heart.”

Ms Markle has been a vocal advocate for women and girls prior to her engagement. She previously worked as an ambassador for UN Women.

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