Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have named seven charities they have chosen to benefit from financial donations in lieu of wedding gifts.
Many of them are small, little known organisations, including a Bristol-based children’s HIV charity with just four part-time employees and a charity for bereaved Armed Forces children.
The only foreign charity chosen is the Myna Mahila Foundation, which supports women in Mumbai’s urban slums and which Ms Markle visited last year before writing about the experience for Time magazine.
Kensington Palace said the couple, who will wed on May 19, did not have any formal relationships with the seven charities but wanted to chose those which represent a range of issues they are passionate about.
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.
One of the charities chosen by the couple is the Children's HIV Association (CHIVA) which supports more than 1,000 UK children growing up with HIV and their families.
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.
Another one of the chosen charities is Scotty’s Little Soldiers, inspired by the experience of war widow Nikki Scott, which supports children who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces.
Mrs Scott, who met the Prince at Buckingham Palace last year, said: “I know that the Armed Forces and looking after the children our heroes have left behind is close to his heart.”
She said to have been personally chosen by the couple was an “incredible honour” and that she was extremely grateful.