Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Britain’s Prince William and his fiancee, Kate Middleton, leave after their visit to City Hall in Belfast
Elspeth Lodge Mar 18, 2011 – 9:52 AM ET | Last Updated: Mar 18, 2011 3:48 PM ET
As the royal wedding approaches, guests have been mulling the problem of nuptial presents. But Prince William and Kate Middleton are making the choice a little easier, asking that guests consider forgoing a gift in favour of a donation to one of 26 charities.
The charities are mostly small and local; many are based in countries Britain has ties with, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand (where the prince arrived Thursday). In Canada, donations will support The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
“These causes are close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far,” said the fund’s website, www.royalweddingcharityfund.org. Having been touched by the goodwill shown to them since their engagement, they have asked that anyone wishing to send them a wedding gift consider doing so in the form of a donation to the fund.”
According to the Telegraph, the charities split into five categories: children, arts and sport, conservation, service personnel and help and care at home.
The prince arrived in New Zealand Thursday morning, one of the countries he will support organizations in through gift funds from his wedding.
He toured the central area of the city, which is still closed to all but rescue workers, to see at first hand the impact of the magnitude 6.3 quake which struck on Feb 22, killing at least 166 people.
Later in the day he will hop on a plane to the small town of Greymouth, which is around 250 kilometres west of Christchurch, to meet families of the 29 miners killed in the Pike River coal mine explosion last November.
He will attend a memorial service for victims of the earthquake in Christchurch on Friday, before he leaves on Saturday for Australia where he will tour flood-damaged areas in Queensland.
With Files From Reuter