Before they tie the knot on May 19th, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have unveiled their wedding list. As you might expect from a couple who almost literally have it all, you won’t find requests for a set of White Company linen or various kitchen electricals gleaned from the Argos catalogue: instead, Harry and Meghan have compiled a list of seven charities to which guests and well-wishers can make donations instead of marking the occasion with a more traditional gift.
‘Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift,’ a statement from Kensington Palace read, explaining that ‘the couple have personally chosen 7 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.’
The couple are not formally affiliated with the charities in question; instead, they’ve chosen smaller organisations which deal with issues they feel strongly about, and are ‘pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.’ The charities in question are CHIVA, Crisis, the Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage and the Wilderness Foundation.
First on the list is CHIVA, the Children’s HIV Assocation, which helps children growing up with HIV in the UK and Ireland and aims, according to the Royal Family’s website, ‘to create a more hopefully and optimistic future for them, ensuring they achieve their greatest potential.’ It is followed by Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, and the Myna Mahila Foundation, a Mumbai-based charity which helps empower women in India’s slums, providing them with professional support, educational training and low-cost sanitary products. Meghan visited the Foundation last year to learn more about their work, sharing her experiences in a piece for Time Magazine which focuses on how the charity endeavours to dismantle the stigma around menstruation.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers helps support children who have lost a parent in the Armed Forces, while StreetGames (which Harry and Meghan saw in action on their recent trip to Cardiff) empowers young people to create positive change through sport and healthy lifestyles. The final two charities focus on conservation issues: Surfers Against Sewage focuses on protecting oceans, beaches and marine wildlife, whereas the Wilderness Foundation ‘promotes the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature.'
NOW READ: Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.
They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.
In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.
On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.
In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'
'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.
The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.
Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.
In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.
It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.
The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.
Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.
Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.
The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.
Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.
She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.
Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.
The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.
Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.
The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.
Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.
The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.
Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'
In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.
In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.
In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.
On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.
The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.
The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.
When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'