Monday, 9 April 2018

Harry and Meghan Ask for Charitable Donations Instead of Wedding Gifts!

As expected, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked for charitable donations to seven worthy organisations in lieu of wedding gifts. The Palace said: "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."


More from the official statement:

'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.'

The Telegraph reports: 

'In asking guests and well-wishers to donate money rather than give them presents, the Prince and Ms Markle follow in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who asked for money to be donated to their own charitable fund, which supported 26 charities of their choice, when they got married, raising more than £1million.'

The couple chose little-known organisations in the hopes of raising their profiles and significantly boosting donations in the coming weeks.


The only foreign charity chosen is the Myna Mahila Foundation, an organisation close to Meghan's heart. In January 2017, she visited the charity, which empowers women in Mumbai’s urban slums, by providing them with a trusted network, where they are supported professionally and personally to help them grow as individuals and businesswomen. Myna offers women from these communities stable employment close to their homes, and breaks taboos around menstrual hygiene by offering women access to low cost sanitary pads and accurate information at their doorstep. Providing mothers in the community with these products helps them equip their daughters to stay in school. The pads are manufactured and distributed by women from these communities.


Following the visit, Meghan penned a powerful essay for Time: "How periods affect potential"

'When a girl misses school because of her period, cumulatively that puts her behind her male classmates by 145 days. And that’s the mitigated setback if she opts to stay in school, which most do not. The latter elect to return home, increasing their subjection to dangerous work, susceptibility to being victims of violence, and most commonly, being conditioned for early childhood marriage. As a female in India, the challenge of survival begins at birth, first overcoming female feticide, then being victim to malnourishment, potentially abuse, and lack of access to proper sanitation facilities. Why, if she is able to overcome all of these challenges and finally get to school, should her education and potential to succeed, be sacrificed because of shame surrounding her period?'

Suhani Jalota, who founded Myna Mahila in 2015, said: "Myna Mahila Foundation is delighted to be a part of this special occasion for Ms. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. This support will enable us to expand our reach into more urban slums in Mumbai, empowering local women through access to menstrual hygiene products and employment opportunities."


The Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA) supports children growing up with HIV and their families, across the UK and Ireland. The charity aims to enhance the wellbeing of children and young people with HIV and to create a more hopeful and optimistic future for them, ensuring they achieve their greatest potential.


More from The Telegraph:

'A spokeswoman told the Telegraph: “We only found out a couple of weeks ago that we have been chosen, it’s a huge honour and will make a huge difference to us. “We are a very small charity so it’s a massive deal.”
She said Prince Harry had been aware of their work since members of their youth committee spoke to him at the International AIDS Conference in Durban in 2016 and that a group had subsequently met him at Kensington Palace.'

Dr Amanda Williams, Chair of CHIVA, said: "We are delighted and honoured that Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have chosen to recognise our work supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people living with HIV in the UK and Ireland.  We are grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness of the complex issues for young people growing up with HIV. We are a very small charity and through our work we support over 1,000 young people living with HIV. All donations will make a significant difference to our programmes of work and lead to direct improvements in the lives of these young people."


Crisis is the national charity for homeless people. The charity helps people directly out of homelessness, working side by side with thousands of people each year to help them rebuild their lives and leave homelessness behind for good. The Telegraph adds: "There has been a furore over the treatment of homeless people in Windsor after Tory councillor Simon Dudley called on police to clear rough sleepers from the town before the event." Following the coverage of the decision, it was very much thought Harry and Meghan would select a homeless charity to benefit from their wedding.


Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of Crisis, said: “We are hugely grateful that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are asking the public to support Crisis as they celebrate their wedding. Homelessness is one of the most urgent issues of our time, but at Crisis we know what it takes to end it. Donations will help us to support more people to leave homelessness behind through our housing, employment, education and advice services across the country, and to campaign for the changes needed to solve the homelessness crisis once and for all.”


Given Harry's history and work with the armed forces, we knew a military charity would be on the cards. I think you'll agree the choice is a very special one. Inspired by the experience of Army widow Nikki Scott, the charity honours husband Corporal Lee Scott’s memory – both as a loyal soldier and a loving father – and provides a practical yet personal way for the public at large to show their appreciation for those brave individuals who make the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Nikki and Lee have 2 children, Kai and Brooke, so Nikki saw first-hand the effect the loss of a loved one in these circumstances can have on a child. It was on a family holiday some 9 months after Lee was killed that Nikki saw her son Kai, 5 at the time, laugh and smile for the first time since his Dad’s death. She realised that there must be so many more children who had also lost a parent serving in the British Armed Forces but hadn’t had that opportunity to smile again. She decided to set up the charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers to do just that, to help their children smile.


The charity’s assistance is divided into 3 distinct programmes.

  • ‘Smiles’ offers the children that opportunity to smile again through a wide range of fun activities and gifts.  This includes holiday breaks, group events, special experiences and gifts at difficult times of the year.
  • The ‘Support’ programme aims to assist with the more emotional side of bereavement and includes access to professional counselling and a family support network.
  • Finally, the ‘Strides’ programme is designed to help with the charity’s beneficiaries’ personal development and includes a range of activity and educational grants.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers Founder, Nikki Scott, said: “To have been personally chosen by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is an incredible honour for Scotty’s Little Soldiers and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity. Having met Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace last year, I know that the Armed Forces and looking after the children our heroes have left behind is close to his heart. "Scotty’s Little Soldiers offers a vital support network for children, who at such a young age, have already gone through so much. Just having the opportunity to spend time with other children who have gone through something similar or receiving a gift on the anniversary of their parent’s death can help reassure them that they are not alone.”



StreetGames uses sport to change lives across the UK, helping people and communities to become healthier, safer and more successful. StreetGames uses sport to help young people to kick-start a cycle of positive change in their own lives that resonates across their communities. If the name sounds familiar, it's because the couple saw the work of the organisation first-hand during their visit to Cardiff in January. 


Jane Ashworth OBE, CEO of StreetGames, said: "All of us at StreetGames are absolutely thrilled to have been personally chosen by Prince Harry and Ms. Markle. It’s a great honour to have our work using sport to change lives and communities recognised in this way."


Surfers Against Sewage is a national marine conservation and campaigning charity, which inspires, unites and empowers communities to take action to protect oceans, beaches, waves and wildlife.


Hugo Tagholm, Chief Executive of Surfers Against Sewage, said: “Surfers Against Sewage is thrilled to be one of the charities chosen to benefit from donations marking the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle. Our work as a national marine conservation charity empowers tens of thousands of volunteers annually to protect beaches for everyone. We are currently focused on tackling plastic pollution and this support will help us move towards our vision of Plastic Free Coastlines.”


The Wilderness Foundation UK promotes the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature. Through the great outdoors, the charity helps build resilience in vulnerable teenagers, introduces rural employment to urban youth, and brings science to life.


Jo Roberts, CEO of The Wilderness Foundation UK, said: "We are deeply touched and honoured that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to support The Wilderness Foundation and its beneficiaries. As the world’s population grows exponentially the planet’s remaining wild places and resources are coming under increasing threat. It has never been more important for us as humans to protect the planet that gives us life. Whilst teaching conservation values, we in turn use the positive power of nature to support and recharge the lives of challenged and vulnerable young people and adults."


If you would like to donate to any of Harry and Meghan's chosen charities, here are the links:

A brilliant variety of incredibly worthy organisations chosen. If considering a donation, which organisation piqued your interest? Does the work of one in particular resonate with you?

91 comments:

  1. The Myna Mahila Foundation really struck me. I'm so glad they chose a charity that focuses on women's issues. I hope that continues to be the core of Meghan's work as a duchess.

    If anyone is on instagram, the official Kensington Palace instagram is fantastic - they always have live updates and stories. I learned about these charities this morning from their instastories.

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  2. I love that they chose the Myna Mahila Foundation. It's a very worthy cause and one that I'm sure didn't get much global attention before Meghan started highlighting it. I have also always loved the essay she wrote on the issue and it showed me early on that she was going to bring women's issues into the British royal family's charity work, which is fantastic! :)

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  3. ILoveElephants9 April 2018 at 21:15

    I really like how Meghan and Harry are asking for donations for their charities instead of gifts. The charity that stood out to me is the Myna Mahila foundation. It’s really sad how many girls in some parts of the world skip school because of their period and eventually drop out. I read an article one day that some tribes in India and other countries think that a woman is cursed and unhygienic during her period and some families make their Daughters stay outside the house during this time. It’s really great how this foundation is providing sanitary napkins to these girls and educating them that their period is not a curse but a natural body function that can create new life.

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    1. Oh ILE, How Awful!! It's Shocking how much we don't know about the world around us!!! I'm so thankful that they have chosen to highlight these important issues & small charities!!

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  4. What a great selection of charities they have chosen to support! All very worthy causes indeed. Crisis really resonates with me as I live in quite a deprived area that has a lot of homelessness & it’s a national issue that has been growing in recent years. Ending homelessness for good is a very noble mission. I also like the sound of Surfers Against Sewage. I’m appalled by the amount of plastic & rubbish ending up in the sea & washing up on the shoreline. I hope with the money raised after the wedding, they can really tackle this problem. It also sounds like it’s in keeping with Charles’ marine conservation efforts, also. Kudos to Harry & Meghan for highlighting these charities!

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  5. Myna Mahila is also my favorite! I like it especially because it seems like Meghan's charity -- the others are probably interests that she has, but Harry likely would have chosen them anyway. But I don't think he would become a champion of menstrual accessibility on his own :) I hope that she continues to focus on women's issues!

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  6. Myna Mahila is going to be my choice. It supports women at such a fundamental level. It really speaks to me as a woman. So glad a charity such as this is on the list.

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  7. I think that all of the charities chosen by Harry and Meghan represent causes close to their minds and hearts, and I hope that each will be able to benefit from both monetary support and the education people will gain from learning about their work. The Myna Mahila Foundation stands out for me. Just as the stigma surrounding mental health continues to be a significant challenge, so too is the stigma that surrounds menstruation. It is hard when only one gender goes through this biological process. Other than a basic health class in school, boys and men truly do not understand the depth of what women go through each month. While some men are comfortable discussing menstruation, the majority are very uncomfortable and squeamish about such a discussion. And sometimes, we women are uncomfortable talking about menstruation with each other and with men, because we either don't want to make the other person uncomfortable, or because we are not sure how to discuss it. This includes all aspects of the process (biological factors, economic factors, the problems and challenges we can encounter with our periods, and access to quality sanitary products). It is terrible that in parts of the world, girls cannot attend school while they are menstruating, either because they do not have access to sanitary products, or because they are deemed "unclean" while on their periods. There are also women who endure tremendous pain during menstruation and have to keep it to themselves, all the while trying to work and care for their families. I have severe endometriosis and PCOS and both cause me significant challenges with my periods, but even at the age of 36, I don't feel like I can speak about it with co-workers or friends, whether they are men or women. So, on the days when I'm in excruciating pain, I just keep it to myself and try to cope with it. After my diagnosis with both reproductive diseases as a teenager, I was told to never complain about the difficulties with my periods. I hear my mother's voice in my head, saying, "There are just some things women shouldn't talk about and menstruation is one of them. Childbirth is another." That brings me to a line I read in one of today's articles about Kate's appearance outside the Lindo Wing after Charlotte's birth. The article mentioned that many people were surprised she chose to wear a dress where the bottom half was white. Upon reading that, I was struck by how delicately we have to speak about female reproductive processes. We've been programmed to do so, as though there is something to be ashamed of. One of the reasons that I have always felt so much empathy and compassion for Kate when she appears at the door of the Lindo Wing after, is because it takes a lot of courage and strength to do that right after childbirth. Your mind and body have just endured a very painful experience and following the birth, in addition to the biological and emotional processes taking place, you are also bleeding rather heavily. After having my babies, I would not have wanted to appear in such a public forum hours after giving birth. I would not have felt physically or emotionally up to it either. Both childbirth and menstruation require a lot from women, physically, psychologically, and emotionally, which speaks to the strength women possess. Being able to dialogue uninhibited about these processes shatters the stigma and encourages women to claim their own biology and physiology. This allows us to fight for all the issues that surround female reproductive health.

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    1. Francesca (Germany)10 April 2018 at 14:44

      Very nice comment! Totally agree and thank you for your open words here.
      Maybe the practise in being so open in your written words will someday make it easier to be outspoken about those topics verbally as well.

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    2. Eve from Germany10 April 2018 at 15:16

      Virginia, I´m so sorry to hear what you had to endure and are still enduring... I agree so much... what we as women "have to do", "should" or "shouldn´t" do/say/talk about/feel and what not about the most natural processes in our body - it´s unbelievable, but sadly true.
      I had a comparatively easy birth process with my daughter (although, at one point, I was fervently asking for a doctor AND a priest!! ;-))) ), I was (most probably) so filled up with endorphines that I could have easily been on any given steps facing any given amount of reporters/photographers a few hours afterwards. The bleeding started much later and was manageable. So I know I was incredibly blessed (don´t worry, my daughter made sure I would look and behave like a ghost just a few days later, due to lack of sleep...). But the strange thing is - amongst women I had to experience so often that I was heavily critizised for talking about my personal experience - as if the fact that I had no major problems was somehow "betraying" all the other women who had bad experiences...
      What I want to say is - we are all individuals, we all have different bodies and shouldn´t have to make excuses or hide our feelings/sensations/experiences as if it was something we should be ashamed of!!! We should be celebrating being a woman and if there are any problems we should be able to talk openly about it without fearing to be stigmatized... If we feel overwhelmed and exhausted after childbirth and don´t want to see a single soul - so be it! And if we feel we can take on the whole world as if it was nothing - so be it, too!! Either way should be welcomed and accepted!!!

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    3. Virginia, you have eloquently expressed so many truths! I too mentioned on DKB about how I was so amazed that she was brave enough to wear a dress last time, that was white on the bottom section. I phrased it that way, as I just innately wouldn't have known how else to express what I was thinking!! We in such evolved countries have come so far, but still have so far to go!! xo

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  8. As a number of commenters have said before me, the Myna Mahila Foundation really resonates with me and I also hope that Meghan continues to champion women's issues.

    I also love that they chose small nonprofits in which this bump in fundraising could really make a difference. I work for a mid-size nonprofit and it's so true that this type of publicity will immensely contribute to their work and impact.

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  9. Chaotte you deserve a pat on the back for doing all the research on this, and so quickly too. Thats a really well rounded list of organizations, and i imagine there is something tbere that speaks to just about everyone. I

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    1. I don't know about everyone. This American doesn't feel like pulling money out of her pockets for a British Royal Wedding. Elizabeth, Chaz and company can certainly fund those causes without my help. Meanwhile, the organizations have known for awhile they've been chosen as they've got their advertising up. But I'm sure it feels great to plan an expensive all out wedding bash and then have the public donate to causes in your honor! :-P

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    2. Zora from Prague10 April 2018 at 17:28

      I agree, bluhare!

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    3. Thx for bringing that up bluhare! Thx Charlotte for going above & beyond! You have done an amazing job with all of your research, excellent reporting & curating of all the information! You have also laid it out in such a lovely, informative & easily navigated Post!! You are our Crown Jewel!!! :) xo

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    4. Zora from Prague10 April 2018 at 22:10

      FL Moxie, I think by "everyone" bluhare meant "everyone who would like to donate". Which is probably needless to say but anyway.

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    5. Wow, Florida Moxie!
      You are aware which blog you’re reading and posting on, right?

      And way to go insulting people who DO want to donate.

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    6. FM, I have to admit you caught me by surprise. But of course you are honest about your opinion.

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    7. Moxie!!! I think all that Florida sunshine is creating glare on your screen, because you missed "just about" everyone. Such a glaring error is not like you!

      And yes, other poster who pointed it out, I was referring to those who might feel so inclined to donate in honor of their wedding. Thank you!

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    8. In no way do I insult folks who donate to charitable causes. You are aware that this future bride wore a $75,000 engagement dress? And what is Harry and Meghan's personal contribution to these causes? And I'm pretty sure they are getting wedding gifts from their guests. Just like Kate and William got gifts. It's those that aren't invited - the public - who are being directed to giving to causes. It's clever PR.

      And to be clear - it isn't because of Meghan that you know about these charities. It's because you read Charlotte's blog - who wrote about them and informed you. bluhare was right about that.

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    9. 🌸 Florida Moxie. (hi, btw) You aren’t British but you sound like a true British Republican. And, politics aside, you make some valid points. It is what it is, and you summed it up accurately.
      They will get private gifts from their guests, although some may opt to donate to the charities, they will also give personal private momentos to the couple. The public though will make up the bulk of contributions. It is clever PR.
      And meanwhile, back at the ranch, a $45 to $58 million wedding (not to mention two lavish receptions and a Royal honeymoon, to who knows where), will be taking place. Say what? lol
      Such is the stuff that Royal weddings are made of.

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    10. "Just about everyone" means you were excluded, it's clear you missed it. Even if they heard it from Charlotte so what? That's why Charlotte posts the information so we become enlightened on issues.

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    11. For what it's worth, Moxie, if I donate to any charities it will because I consider them to be a worthy cause, not in honor of a wedding. But I do note a difference in your tone recently. You don't seem to be in as good a humor and I hope you're OK.

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    12. Hi FLMoxie, I for one would not have known about these 7 charities, had they not been chosen for highlight by H&M. Also, the list can be found in all variety of news sources keeping the public up to date on The Wedding. I don't think anyone is being "directed" or made to donate to any of these charities. I also don't think the public wanting to make a donation small or large to any of these worthy charities has anything to do with the type of Wedding H&M will end up having! I see them as 2 separate things. I don't get the connection between being negative about putting forth a list of highlighted charities & the fact that Meghan wore an expensive dress for her engagement photo, just like she will likely wear an even more expensive Wedding Dress! ?? If you feel like clarifying great, because I'm just not getting it! :)

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    13. Ah, bluhare... perhaps I am just a modern woman too pragmatic to indulge in wedding fantasy making. The theater of marriage is odd.

      For those who don't understand why I take issue with a couple putting on a lavish wedding and then issuing statements about charities that they themselves didn't contribute to and support financially... well maybe one day you will understand how illogical it is. Surfer Girl got it.

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    14. I actually had heard about Myna Mahila a year or two ago, from another source entirely, and since I was born in India (my dad was teaching there for a few years), I have always felt a personal connection to the problems that originate there. So I was very happy to see it on the list of charities that were suggesting donations in lieu of gifts to -- I certainly wouldn't have sent a gift to the happy couple, but I already donate to other international causes, and as a woman this one touches me, plus I didn't know of a way to donate to them previously! So I'm very happy to see them included on this list. I will probably make a donation to them as a token of my appreciation for the work they do, and with full knowledge that any money I donate to them will go SO much farther in India than in the US -- it is still an incredibly poor country. And there is still so much very young marriage for girls who don't go to school because they have no menstrual supplies! In fact, it can be even worse -- I read recently about how village women want inside toilets because otherwise they can only go to the fields to do their business, and being reluctant to do it in broad daylight, hold it all day until after dark! So they frequently have problems with their elimination system on top of their reproductive humiliations. Being a woman in rural parts of India or in city slums can be very tough indeed. A charity like Myna Mahila can make an astonishing difference, just with what to us would be less than the price of a fancy coffee. When I read about things like the article about women's elimination problems, it makes me appreciate even more the comfortable life I've been able to lead, and makes me want to help in any way I can. So I think that Meghan adding them onto this list is going to be truly wonderful for the charity because I suspect a lot of women will immediately pick them as the charity they most want to donate to!

      I think Meghan will bring more women's issues to the young royals' charitable work, and it really pleases me. She's very aware of women's issues around the world thanks to her work with the UN. She's a remarkable young woman!

      And she may not have bought that dress for the engagement shoot, by the way; there are many companies that let you rent their clothing for a week or two, or she may have borrowed it from a friend. We don't know the circumstances, so I am unwilling to speculate on its provenance for the engagement shoot; I just loved the expressions on their faces in those photos, and they could have been wearing clothes from Wal-Mart and I wouldn't have given a fig! I'm just so happy that Prince Harry has found a woman to share his life who can meet and exceed his interests in charity work! I truly admire her for her lifetime of activism. She's a wonderful role model for young women, too!

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    15. Eve from Germany12 April 2018 at 16:15

      Florida Moxie, people say (and often complain!!) that I´m "uber"-pragmatic, and "uber"-logical - but I call it "pragmatic" to just accept that it´s one of those phenomenons that us "ordinary" people could work our a***s off for a charity and still never change the financial and/or "awareness situation" of this charity as much as ONE SINGLE mentioning of this charity by a so-called "VIP" can do!!
      Harry and Meghan might not have personally and/or financially contributed to their chosen charities - although Meghan DID visit the charity Myna Mahila in January 2017, just as an example!! - they are in the "lucky" position to change the future of any charity they just mention in an incredibly positive way. Is this logical? Does it have to be logical to be "acceptable" or "good"? It´s human. And it exists. Is it logical to buy a piece of clothing just because a "VIP" has worn it? Still, a lot of people do it. It´s part of human nature. Not everything is logical - not everything is fair. Personally, I accept this because it helps causes which are important and might otherwise never have gotten the attention they deserve. And if Harry and Meghan because of their status only need to say "Please donate..." and people run to their computers - well, it might be illogical, but frankly, it is what it is and it serves the purpose and helps those charities - so be it!
      And why not support those charities and still have a lavish wedding? They have the money, lots of people profit from it and so many people are happy and excited about it! Is this logical? Well, it´s human. Does mankind need this in order to survive? Most probably not. Do we all need to be on this blog in order to survive? Most probably not. We could all do so many other things during that time that would be so much more pragmatic and logical! We don´t need lavish weddings, we don´t need fashion, we don´t need cakes, we don´t need blogs - but this thing called "pleasure" is so very human that it comes in so many shapes and sizes.... If you start measuring it with scales like "logic" - yep, I agree, the "results" might be quite "devastating"!! ;-))))

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    16. FLMoxie, how do you know that these are charities that Harry & Meghan "themselves didn't contribute to & support financially"???

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    17. I was not aware that the Cambridges had released an itemized list of their charitable donations.

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    18. Florida Moxie, I also do not care for weddings or tiaras actually but I find the whole process to be fun with Harry and Meghan. I admit I don't care about any other "royal" It would have been nice for the couple to take $50 million and set up another foundation and then quietly marry at city hall. Would have been my choice. But perhaps the public would no longer care about them and then they've lost their edge. No one would care what they did next if there wasn't the chance for some pageantry and high fashion. I think it works out in the end.

      I am hoping that she did not buy that engagement dress. I just read that the Strathberry company sent out sample handbags to high-end stylists and then they saw Meghan had one I am translating that to mean she didn't pay close to $1000 for a handbag, which is good I hope the dress had some sort of similar arrangement.

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    19. Emily and Laura, there was a press release regarding MM's engagement dress. The company stated that it had been privately purchased.

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    20. Apparently I'm not as wise as surfer girl Moxie, because I don't know what your beef is. Harry is a member of the royal family and very well known. His wedding and fiancee generate interest. Members of the public are also going to send them gifts whether they ask or not. Therefore, they're suggesting donations to charity in lieu thereof. Rather than have them go to their foundation as William and Kate did (and got $1 million in donations that way), they've suggested other charities instead. Even with all this, I bet people send them things they may not be able to keep which is a shame.

      I also think they'd also be totally happy if people decided to just do their own thing on their wedding day, ignore everything, and donate nothing.

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    21. Eve, Eve, Eve...... this is me bowing to you!!! xoxo I don't even have words to express how I felt reading your words & appreciating your message!!!! I am surrounded by people who spend (to me) insane amounts of $$$$ on every aspect of their life & do so very little to help others or change the world. Set the Royal Wedding aside & focus on the fact that H&M didn't have to "do" anything but kick up their heals & enjoy themselves & that would be that!! But..... they chose to take this step to promote these charities. That's it! Done! End of story! 2 people who did something nice, when they didn't have to! No one is saying they are the first or only ones to do this type of thing, but it's nice they did! The end! xo

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    22. I agree bluhare, I’m sure people send them things they don’t want or need. So, all they are saying is, instead of spending 5 pounds on flowers or a useless trinket, give those 5 pounds to charity. How can this be a bad thing?

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    23. 🌸 sofy. It isn’t. 😊 It is a smart, effective and sweet thing to do, asking for contributions to the charities in lieu of the flowers and trinkets. William and Kate made that request also through their Royal Foundation Trust and that gleaned over $1 million for the charities within that trust, as Charlotte has already pointed out. That it ALSO happens to be excellent PR is a blessing the couples receive for their altruism and generosity. Win, Win situation for sure. PLUS, those who contribute, even if just a dollar or so, it adds up. AND, the people sowing into the charities like that will also receive blessings. ❤️

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    24. bluhare, You Are Wise!!! :) & I appreciate everything you said! Though, I don't know if Any of us qualify as being as "Wise" as surfer girl???? lol :)

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    25. Zora from Prague13 April 2018 at 10:14

      That was so well said, Eve! I couldn't agree more.
      And Sofy - exactly.

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    26. We don’t know whether Harry and/or Meghan have donated funds to these charities. They have certainly put together a very thoughtful list of small charities which reflects their concerns and experience. My guess is that their wedding guests will contribute to the charities as requested. I’m not sure how the cost of Meghan’s engagement dress is pertinent to this, even though I consider it shockingly exorbitant. I hope she continues to wear it for years! Thank you, Charlotte, for your careful research and the very interesting results!

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    27. Nicky, Sussex, England13 April 2018 at 19:50

      Wow Eve, I just need to congratulate you on summing up this bazaar world we live in so eloquently. I really love your contribution to all the blogs you comment on (even mine!) this just literally tells it as it is :)

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    28. 🌸 lol, lol. I do resemble that remark don’t I, Becca? πŸ‘©‍πŸŽ“πŸ˜‰ lol
      Would you kindly also inform my family and friends? 😊

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    29. Eve from Germany14 April 2018 at 09:00

      Oh Nicky, how lovely to see you here on this blog! I love yours so much, too, and I´m sure our lovely and exceptional Charlotte won´t mind that I highly commend your blog (When Meghan Met Harry), too!! How lovely to see that two wonderful ladies (and so many wonderful others who cover all the different aspects of this inspirational lady called Meghan Markle!!) give us so much joy and pleasure (there it is again, lol!!) with their hard and dedicated work!! Kudos to you all!

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  10. This was brilliant because the people invited are not going to not give a gift, in this case a donation, so there should be some substantial contributions. Plus the whole world can send $5 or $10 or whatever they can afford. Very clever---and wonderful. I vote for supporting women and wildlife first.

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  11. I just love that top photo---MM is so pretty and Harry looks so rugged. :)

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    1. Allison, I loved this photo so much that I went to James Whatling's Twitter account & thanked him for capturing such a naturally beautiful photo of H&M, especially capturing Meghan's freckles! :) He was so sweet & responded to me! :) xo

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    2. Becca, I got so excited that I crashed my computer and had to reboot! Yes, this photo is just gorgeous. Reminds me of Harry in Afghanistan.

      Florida Moxie, I know you’ll get a lot of negative responses but I somewhat know what you’re feeling, as an American. At first I thought that H and M would have a nice civil ceremony and get a store-bought cake. How naΓ―ve was I??? However, remember that Harry speaks of the magic of the monarchy, which is what fuels tourism and a feeling of unity among like-minded citizens. M spoke of using celebrity to further good causes. (Imagine the good Kim Kardashian and her derriere could do for the world if they were not so selfish.) At least 90% of the cost is for security, and that means a lot of citizens will receive some overtime payments. Indicating specific charities paves the way for people who are not invited but feel they must send a gift (dignitaries, politicians) to give a tax-deductible present. People who donate to the charities are not paying for the wedding; they are avoiding sending a silver candy dish and instead doing some good in the world.
      And Charlotte---I first discovered your blog when I wanted info on Kate and William and found that you were a kind person and that the blog was truthful and a candy shop of images. I have so enjoyed the travel blogs and learned so much. The images from Canada, for example, were beautiful and fascinating. You have so much work covering Kate, and now the intensity of the news regarding Meghan must keep you in overdrive. Thank you for being the only source to trust.

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    3. Allison, Wow! You said it all & said it all so well! :) xoxo

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    4. I'm not a huge fan of the Kardashians but just chiming in to say that they highlight charities by visiting with beneficiaries pretty consistently. In this season alone they've done Planned Parenthood, a homeless shelter in LA, and a gun violence episode. Kim Kardashian also paid the attorney fees for the victim of a sex trafficking ring she heard about through social media so it seems like an unfair accusation to leverage here. Can't we just not insult other women?

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    5. Anonymous, you're right and thank you. I have never gone past the silliness to see what good she may have done and I'm glad you corrected me. I assume she is sincere. :)

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  12. 🌸 I am so excited about their choices. YAY πŸŽ‰

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  13. Myna Mahila is my choice too !! What a worthy cause and if our donation helps change even one young girls life it’s super amazing !

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  14. I too will choose Myna Mahilia; but what a rich choice they have given their supporters. I hope and believe they will make a lasting difference in the monarchy.

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  15. Myna Manila really touched my heart. Yes, Anonymous, the charity also speaks to me as a woman, and the indignity of the “period issue” is both sad and on another level, makes me a little angry. But passion leads to action. Thanks Charlotte. I enjoyed reading about all of these charities and their worthy causes.

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  16. Intrigued By Royals10 April 2018 at 04:18

    Though all the charities are worthy causes, Myna Mahila definitely spoke to me. Why something a s normal as having your period should stop a girl's education is appalling to me. I want to donate to that charity, definitely!

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  17. Eve from Germany10 April 2018 at 09:17

    I really like the fact that they´ve chosen "smaller" and less well-known charities and that they did not just say "Instead of gifts, please donate to charities". The ones chosen are indeed all worthy causes - I must admit I have difficulties in choosing one or even two... I´m glad that many favour the Myna Mahila charity - it baffles me each and every time how the most natural things about women cause so much pain for them and are so horribly misunderstood and misconstrued by the societies they live in. And so-called "developed countries" are no exception! It makes you wonder what went wrong with us humans that what we need in order to survive as a species (i.e. a woman who carries and gives birth to children) has been and still is so much "under attack".....instead of celebrating it (as some cultures actually do!) as the amazing miracle that it is....

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    1. Eve, it does absolutely boggle the mind! :( This month I'm going to donate to Myna Mahila, Crisis & Scotty's Soldiers. Next month I'll add in gifts to the others! Too hard to choose, so something for them all! Such worthy causes & I love that they are smaller charities that I would otherwise never have known about!! xo

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  18. Eve from Germany10 April 2018 at 09:40

    Totally "off-topic", but I can´t help it: what an exciting time for all royal watchers as we all wait for Baby Cambridge No. 3 - and I can´t help but thinking of one day - maybe even in the not so distant future - we will all be on this blog waiting for Baby "..." No. 1 to arrive!! What an exciting time for both William and Harry!!! Let´s hope and keep fingers crossed everything will go well!!

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  19. Thank you Charlotte for this wonderful post,I am sure the people will donate money to all these charities.

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  20. This decision is wise and not completely unexpected.

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  21. I agree Shelly. The smaller charities needed this platform to get more exposure. It is wonderful that Prince Harry and Ms Markle are giving support and more exposure to these worthy causes. Excellent work, Charlotte, in the detail reporting of these charities. Great post!

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  22. Hmm i just like duke and duchess cambridge did hmm i love the charities specially Myna mahila who suporting young girls I love the she will cotinue where she started to voice woman Hmm i would love too donate

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  23. Charlotte,

    I just saw your twitter feed where Victoria Murphy says there will be no official guests? Is it likely that the Obamas and others will be invited as non-official or regular guests?

    Is it expected that the full guest list be released?

    Thanks,
    One of your US readers

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    1. Hello, yes that is correct. Here is the official Palace statement:

      'It has been decided that an official list of political leaders – both UK and international - is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding,' says a Kensington Palace spokesman. 'Her Majesty's Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by the Royal Household.”

      On foreign royalty attending the wedding, it will depend if they are friends of the couple. Nobody has been invited because of the position they hold.'

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    2. I actually love this. In all the Trump versus Obama invitation war that the media was feeding I don't think anyone expected they would not invite Theresa May and other most senior British politicians. That suggests this was Harry and Meghan taking control of their wedding day, rather than having to submit to outside influences.

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    3. It is being reported that this translates into the Obamas not being invited. I can see that it would be an even greater security problem. Do you know?

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    4. While I would have loved to see the Obamas and Trudeaus, I understand that the media would have created a perfect storm of awful that threatened to overshadow their wedding with political BS. Add to that the terrible twitter wars that have both sides using Harry and Meghan as political pawns. They made the right decision and I'm sure the Obamas understand.

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    5. No Obamas, though the announcement said H and M hope to see them soon; also no Trudeaus.

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    6. I saw that it is no politicians or royalty from non-Commonwealth countries, so we might see the Trudeaus. But almost definitely no Obamas, who will certainly understand not receiving an invitation.

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    7. The Trudeaus put out a statement saying they weren't going but that they wished the couple much happiness.

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    8. Sharon - Washington state12 April 2018 at 19:12

      It seems to me that the Obamas could still be guests. He is not a current president and they have personal ties to the couple.

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  24. Tammy from California10 April 2018 at 21:21

    That little girl above with Scotty's Soldiers...W O W. What a stunner.

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  25. Good for them! Donating the gifts to charity is a wonderful move by the couple. There is a young professional NBA basketball player who is from a small city in my state (Wis.) who is marrying a woman who is a professional sportscaster ( and is also the daughter of a well known national sports announcer). They recently announced that wedding gifts will be donations to charity.

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  26. Good for them! Donating the gifts to charity is a wonderful move by the couple. There is a young professional NBA basketball player who is from a small city in my state (Wis.) who is marrying a woman who is a professional sportscaster ( and is also the daughter of a well known national sports announcer). They recently announced that wedding gifts will be donations to charity.

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  27. I donated Myna Mahila just now, and I'm really happy I found them through Harry and Meghan. A worthy and extremely important cause. I can't imagine how it must be for those girls and women, who have painful periors or other gynecologial problems in India or in other developing countries, in fact.

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  28. I work in global public health, and I hope Meghan continues directing attention to some of the issues that organizations are working on. There are a few comments in here that belie an unfamiliarity with how to speak sensitively about customs and people in other countries. The word 'tribe' is pejorative; no one on the continent of Africa uses it to describe themselves and there are none in India, so it could well be dropped from someone's lexicon. We have as much stigma here in the US as other places, and taxes and unfair policies regarding menstrual commodities, so while it's great to support these efforts to increase access, comments in the vein of 'oh those poor people' are so cringe-worthy to me. Let's all help one another without the taint of a bit of pity and not choose to pass on 'I heard those people do this...' type of information when no facts are offered. I think we could probably all benefit from thinking about how someone from India, or any other country, would take our comments if we said them directly to their faces.

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    1. That is good to know that ‘tribal’ is offensive in certain regions of the world, because it isn’t in the area of the US where I live!
      I live where there is a high concentration of Native Americans. There are many reservations and the different groups definitely proudly use the word ‘tribe’ when referring to themselves. Many have ‘tribal councils’ etc. It isn’t a pejorative for Native Americans, at least not in this area.

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    2. Anon 14:51, Thank you so much for sharing that information. To me it's inexcusable that we in the US know so little about the Native Americans that are living all among us. There is so much more we should know & understand! :) xo

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    3. @Anon 14:51, I too live in an area with a large and vibrant Native American population and the words "tribe" and "tribal" are used with a great deal of pride.

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  29. I really like the range of causes they choose. I wish the younger Royals would put a tiny bit more emphasise on the conservation/enviroment cause even though Charles has made it his main focus. Especially when they want to streamline the causes they support in the future. But that is just my personal preference.
    But I wonder why people act, as if they are saints? Pointing people to donating instead of sending gifts has been kind of normal for royal weddings in the last 15 years I think. I would argue it is actually kind of expected.
    It is nice and I don't want to diminish the idea but they are insanely rich, they don't need strangers to put money in some gift they probably would never even notice.

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    1. This is just me, but I think what seems nice is that instead of directing $ to one general fund.... They have chosen 7 small specific charities, who can not only use the funds, but will benefit greatly from having a light shown on them. I for one, would have not known about these charities nor would I have known about such an easy way to donate to them, even if I had heard of them. I'm always a little careful about verifying charities that need donations? So I tend to only give to larger more known & obviously well vetted organizations. It makes me feel good to be able to give to these smaller, lesser known charities. Of course this is just my take on this subject. :)

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    2. 🌸 Becca. I agree. I think doing that like that rather than just one general fund was very thoughtful, caring and special. It will generate a lot of support in many ways, no doubt.

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  30. I'm going to choose Myna Mahila because it represents Meghan and its a wonderful cause that many in the media made fun of. As if a woman's period is something to be ashamed of. Her essay did a lot to help normalize the conversation about an important aspect of women's health. To represent Harry I choose Street Games mainly because I loved how sweet the children where towards Meghan and how enthusiastic they where.

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    1. Oh Mimi, I had no idea there has been mocking in the media! :( Oh that breaks my heart! :( All the more reason to support these young girls who have to fight just to stay in school!!! xo

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  31. Anonymous (7:57). You are correct, no Royal is a Saint in that they’re perfect. Requesting money go to charity is simply the best way to give; otherwise, these “rich people” will get a bunch of gifts that they don’t need, and gifts that may not be according to their personal styles. So put the money that would go to a gift to much better use: a CHARITY with a WORTHY CAUSE. Also, I GIVE to be a blessing and a help to people in need. Hopefully, “rich people” do it for the same reasons. And, in the USA, tax deductions don’t hurt😊. Thanks, Charlotte.

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  32. 🌸 According to Alexi Lubomirski, the man who did Harry and Meghan’s engagement photos, those photos were not staged. He said he just wanted them to walk around the grounds and be themselves and that he would take photos along the way. And yhat’s How those photos came about. Pretty amazing, yeh? Alexi worked with Mario Testino for four years and has done independent work since then with cover photos on Vogue, etc.

    “Independent”, Sabrina Barr

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    1. I adore their engagement photos,they looked so cute and really happy.I am sure the photos of their wedding will be gorgeous!They are both so photogenic:)

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  33. https://www.bustle.com/p/this-is-the-rehearsal-dinner-toast-meghan-markle-deserves-8720597/amp?__twitter_impression=true

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    1. Thank youuuuu!!! Sensational!!!

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  34. so sweet. Looking pretty with each other. Best wishes for them .

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)