Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle watch a performance by a Welsh choir in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Britain, January 18, 2018. Reuters/Ben Birchall/Pool/File Photo

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have requested people to donate to charities rather than send them gifts for their wedding. The British prince and the American actress, both ardent philanthropists, have selected seven organisations for well-wishers to give their donations to.

Expecting to receive wedding gifts from supporters, the couple has announced that they would wish for them to give donations to any of the seven charities they have personally chosen instead. They don’t have any formal relationships with the foundations. They have selected them because the charities represent a range of issues that the couple are passionate about.

“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,” the announcement reads. “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.”

The charities chosen by Harry and Meghan are:

  • CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association), which supports children growing up with HIV and their families, across UK and Ireland
  • Crisis, which works with thousands of people each year to help them get out of homelessness
  • Myna Mahila Foundation, which empowers women in Mumbai’s urban slums by providing them with a trusted network, stable employment, and personally helps them grow as individuals and businesswomen. The charity also gives women access to low-cost sanitary pads and breaks taboos around menstrual hygiene.
  • Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which is a foundation that offers a vital support network for children who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces
  • StreetGames, which uses sports to empower young children across the UK and helping people and communities to become healthier, safer and more successful
  • Surfers Against Sewage, a national marine conservation and campaigning charity that inspires, unites and empowers communities to protect oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife
  • The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature

Last month, the couple announced that they would invite 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to see their wedding carriage procession. They would be selected from different regions in the UK, with a special emphasis on those who have served in their communities. Among the invited were 200 people from charities and organisations that the couple are close to. A hundred of them will be students from two local schools, 610 Windsor Castle community members, and 530 Members of the Royal Household and The Crown Estate.

Harry and Meghan will wed on May 19 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.