As unbelievable as it might seem, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding is almost one month away (seriously, where has the time gone?). And as Prince Harry and Markle's May 19 nuptials quickly approach, the Royal Family continues to gift fans with info about their special day. From Kensington Palace's captivating Twitter thread on how the couple's gilded wedding invites were made, to confirmation about where the reception will be held, there has been absolutely no shortage of royal wedding details. The good news is there are still plenty of breadcrumbs to snack on while you wait for this exciting event to take place, like the announcement on Monday that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want charity donations instead of wedding presents. Although this request might surprise some people, it actually makes a lot sense when you consider that both Prince Harry and Markle are devoted to altruistic causes.
It's no secret that royal weddings are expensive. Even after you remove all the logistical costs (security, drivers, etc.), royal nuptials are pricey no matter how you slice it because that's just how these things go. I mean, the dress code for Prince Harry and Markle's church ceremony includes a lounge suit, for Pete's sake. If you're going to a wedding that insists on referring to regular business suit as a lounge suit, then there's a good chance it's an expensive affair. And considering that Markle and Prince Harry's wedding will cost a pretty, one might assume that they'd be showered with extravagant gifts just because. As it turns out, however, Markle and Prince Harry are insisting that their guests forgo gifts for charitable donations instead.
The official statement on the request reads, according to the Royal Family's website:
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 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.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have personally selected seven organisations they would like to support, reflecting their shared values.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle do not have any formal relationships with the charities chosen. 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.
Of course, this appeal should come as no surprise to supporters of Markle and Prince Harry. Not only were Markle and Prince Harry both philanthropists before they met, but their charity work is what brought them together in the first place.
"It was really one of the first things we connected on," Markle said in November 2017 about the couple's shared love for helping others, according to Woman's World. "One of the first things we started talking about when we met was just the different things that we wanted to do in the world and how passionate we were about seeing change. I think that was, that's what got date two in the books, probably."
And in late February, Prince Harry expressed a desire to get started on their charity work sooner than later. “We’re pretty tied up with planning a wedding at the moment but we’re really looking forward to working as a pair and as a four going forward and hoping to make as much of a difference where we can,” Prince Harry said about the pair's post-May 19 plans, according to Reuters.
That all being said, which seven charities did Markle and Prince Harry highlight in their announcement? The list reads, according to the Royal Family's website: CHIVA (Children's HIV Association), Crisis, Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty's Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage, and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
What's especially neat about Prince Harry and Markle's request is that it encourages anyone to donate to these select causes. Even if you don't have an invite to the royal wedding (c'est la vie) you can still celebrate Markle and Prince Harry's special day by lending your support to one of the seven charities listed. It's a win-win for everyone involved. And most of all, it proves that Markle and Prince Harry are wholly committed to enacting change in the world.