Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have chosen a Mumbai slum foundation visited by the actress to be one of seven organisations nominated to receive wedding donations from well-wishers.
Harry and his fiancee have asked those thinking of marking their royal nuptials with a gift to instead give the money to the good causes which cover a number of issues from women’s empowerment to homelessness and HIV.
Kensington Palace said the couple picked organisations that reflected their shared values and represented a range of issues they were passionate about, but they do not have any formal relationship with the seven organisations.
Ms Markle visited the Myna Mahila Foundation last year, which supports working women in Mumbai’s urban slums and aims to breaks taboos around menstrual hygiene.
Writing about her experiences in Time magazine the US actress said: “Ninety-seven percent of the employees of Myna Mahila live and work within the slums, creating a system which as, Nobel Peace prize nominee Dr Jockin Arputham shared with me, is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and allowing access to education.
“In addition, the women’s work opens the dialogue of menstrual hygiene in their homes, liberating them from silent suffering, and equipping their daughters to attend school.”
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 organisations chosen by the couple include the Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA), the homeless charity Crisis and Scotty’s Little Soldiers, the charity for bereaved armed forces children.
Kensington 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.”
Meghan and Harry also picked StreetGames, which uses sport to empower young people to kick-start a cycle of positive change in their own lives, Surfers Against Sewage, a national marine conservation and campaigning charity, and the Wilderness Foundation UK which promotes the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature.
Dr Amanda Williams, chairwoman of CHIVA, said: “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.”