LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Prince William and bride-to-be Kate Middleton have set up a gift fund to allow well-wishers who want to give them a wedding gift to donate money to charities they care about instead, royal officials said on Wednesday.
The couple have chosen 26 charities which will benefit from the Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund, some of which are not well-known or work in specific communities, St James's Palace said.
"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."
The fund will focus on five causes chosen by the couple: Changing Lives through Arts and Sport; Children Fulfilling Their Potential; Help and Care at Home; Support for Service Personnel and Their Families; and Conservation for Future Generations.
Some of the charities are based in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which William's office said reflected the close ties he had established during past trips.
The prince is due to travel to Australia and New Zealand later this week to visit areas affected by recent natural disasters.
"We are absolutely delighted to have been recognized by the royal couple in this way," said Michael de Giorgio, Chief Executive of Greenhouse, one of the charities which helps children in deprived areas through sport and dance schemes.
"Their support of Greenhouse is a real endorsement of the positive difference we are making to the remarkable young people we work with in London's most disadvantaged communities."
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)