Despite planning a wedding of royal proportions (which comes with an estimated $45,520,303 price tag—let that soak in), Meghan Markle and her future groom, Prince Harry, are taking a much more philanthropic route when it comes to their gift requests from guests. Don't expect to see these two registering for a new mixer or sheet set for their May 19 nuptials.
Kensington Palace revealed today via Twitter that the soon-to-be-wed royal pair will be asking for charitable donations, rather than presents, from the lucky members of their guest list. "Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift," the official social media statement read. The tweet also links to a Royal Wedding Charitable Donations page, listing seven organizations that Prince Harry and Markle have chosen to support for their wedding.
"The couple have personally chosen 7 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," Kensington Palace added.
The seven charities include CHIVA (Children's HIV Association), which helps young children with HIV in the U.K. and Ireland; Crisis, an organization dedicated to homeless people; and Myna Mahila Foundation, a charity that supports women in Mumbai's slums by providing employment and sanitary products. Markle visited this organization last March, and even wrote a piece for Time magazine about the foundation.
The pair also chose Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children of deceased members of the British Armed Forces; StreetGames, which uses sports to empower children to build positive communities (Harry and Markle visited this organization in Wales in January); Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation that works to protect oceans and beaches; and The Wilderness Foundation UK, a charity that teaches urban youth the importance of wild nature and science.
Kensington Palace shared a tweet summarizing each chosen organization, along with a link to donate to the seven causes.
With this gift request, Markle and Prince Harry are following in the footsteps of Kate Middleton and Prince William, who also asked for charitable donations for their 2011 royal nuptials. Will and Kate established the Charitable Gift Fund, which raised about $1.3 million between 26 charities that the couple held near and dear.
Looks like even if we didn't get an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan's Markle upcoming wedding, we can still participate in the festivities by treating them to a charitable wedding gift.