Shower us with donations, say William and Kate

2011-04-25 09:13

What do you give the couple who have everything? The answer, in the case of Prince William and Kate Middleton, is a donation to charity.

Not for them the entire roomful of antique furniture including a four-poster bed in maple which Canada gave to William’s mother Diana and Prince Charles for their wedding in 1981.

Or the 20 silver platters inscribed with the date of the marriage which was Australia’s gift 30 years ago.

In a different age, the second-in-line to the throne and his fiancee have asked anyone wanting to give them a present to pay into a fund to support 26 charities, many of which are not particularly well known.

They clearly want to spread the charitable giving around the Commonwealth because one is the appeal for aid following the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month which killed more than 200 people.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary and Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service are also on the list of beneficiaries.

Yet most of the charities are in Britain and some reflect the prince’s military background. A handful of them help service personnel and their families, such as the Army Widows’ Association.

Donations to www.royalweddingcharityfund.org can be made in six currencies.

The money will be held and distributed by a charitable foundation set up by William and his brother, Prince Harry.

William proposed to Kate while on holiday in Kenya, and the prince’s affinity for causes in Africa is reflected by his choice of conservation projects run by the Zoological Society of London to save the black rhino and African elephant from extinction.

The couple have also decided to support Beatbullying, a children’s charity which says it is “working with young people to create a world where bullying, violence and harassment are unacceptable”.

But there will still be a few presents for Kate and William to unwrap.

The people of Wales will give them a specially-designed piece of Welsh crystal. The couple have lived for the past two years in Anglesey in north Wales where the prince is an RAF helicopter pilot.

Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “The happy couple have strong links with the country and this is where they have chosen to make their home.

“I wish the royal couple all the very best for their big day, and every happiness for the rest of their lives together.”

More unusually, a South African discount airline has made a tongue-in-cheek offer to give Kate Middleton’s family a herd of cows, an African tradition known as “lobola”.

Lobola, a southern African wedding custom, requires the groom to make a symbolic payment to the family of the bride, traditionally in cattle.

The airline, kulula.com, said it would source a herd of cows locally in Britain and deliver them to the couple – providing Middleton’s family, who have made millions from a party goods business, accepts.

The Canadian government, which has a history of giving generous wedding gifts to British royals, will not announce its gift until the wedding day.

But as its present to the couple, the Canadian province of Alberta has already made a donation of 25,000 Canadian dollars (nearly R180 000) to seven shelters for young homeless people.

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