Sunday, January 16, 2011
Prince William and Kate Middleton Wedding
Mandrake hears that the future king and queen have decided to make it easier for those invited to Westminster Abbey on April 29 by forgoing matching sets of chinaware and napkins. Instead, they will ask their guests to make donations to their favourite charities.
"When the invitations are issued, they will have some kind of instruction on how to make a donation to a charity chosen by the couple," says a senior royal aide.
The Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry, which was established by the brothers in 2009 to help young people in society and raise awareness and support for servicemen and women, will be one of the charities listed in the couple's invitations.
"They are still considering whether it will be just the foundation, or whether they will also pick individual charities and projects which they are linked with," says the official.
William, 28, who works as a search and rescue helicopter pilot at RAF Valley in Anglesey, north Wales, is the patron of several organisations, including the Tusk Trust, a conservation charity for wildilife in Africa, and Centrepoint, the homelessness charity of which his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was also the patron.
Starlight, a charity which grants wishes to seriously and terminally ill children, is believed to be another organisation to which the couple will ask their wedding guests to donate.
Kate, who celebrated her 29th birthday last weekend, has supported several fundraising events for Starlight and is thought to be considering a request to work as its patron or ambassador after her marriage.
The Prince and Princess of Wales received thousands of presents from well-wishers around the world after their marriage at St Paul's Cathedral in June 1981, including a roomful of antique furniture from the people of Canada, 20 silver platters inscribed with their wedding date from Australia and an engraved glass bowl and porcelain set from Ronald Reagan, the then American president, whose wife, Nancy, attended the ceremony.
A selection of the Prince and Princess's presents were placed on display to members of the public at St James's Palace and some items were later distributed to charities chosen by Charles.
The couple also placed a private wedding list of gifts they wanted from their friends with the General Trading Company store in Chelsea.
William and Kate are likely to receive a large number of wedding gifts from members of the public. A royal source says they may follow in Charles's footsteps and donate some of the presents to charity.
"We will consider the same precedents, but let's see what kind of presents people are kind enough to give first," he says.
"They will also look at doing a wedding list, but it will only be a private list for close friends and I don't think it will be given to just one store – it will be more of a generic list."