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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle request charity donations instead of wedding gifts

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have previously shown an interest in the issue of homelessness, visiting a cafe that distributes food to homeless people while on a visit to Edinburgh in February. CREDIT: Owen Humphreys/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are asking people who wish to send them a wedding gift to consider donating to one of several selected charities instead, Kensington Palace announced Monday.

The seven chosen charities “represent a range of issues that they are passionate about,” the Palace said in a statement, including women’s empowerment, HIV, homelessness, and the environment.

“Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.”

Amanda Williams, chair of the Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA), which supports children with HIV across the UK and Ireland, said she was “delighted and honoured” that CHIVA had been chosen by the royal couple.

The other organizations are homeless charity Crisis; the Myna Mahila Foundation, which works to empower women in Mumbai’s urban slums and was visited by Markle last yearScotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved Armed Forces children; StreetGames, which uses sport to empower young people; marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage; and The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the benefits of wild nature.

Jo Roberts, CEO of The Wilderness Foundation, said she was “touched” that Harry and Markle had chosen to support the charity.

According to Kensington Palace, the couple does not currently have any formal relationships with the chosen charities.

Prior to their wedding in 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton also requested charity donations instead of wedding gifts. Members of the public could donate via a dedicated website and the beneficiaries included UK theater company Oily Cart and environmental charity Earthwatch.