UK royal wedding fund raises 1 million pounds

Wed Jun 22, 2011 1:59pm EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - More than one million pounds ($1.62 million) has been contributed to a gift fund set up by Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton ahead of their wedding, the couple's office said on Wednesday.

The Royal Wedding Charitable Gift Fund was set up to allow well-wishers to donate money to the couple's 26 chosen charities instead of sending a wedding gift. About half was donated by members of the public and wedding guests, and a quarter paid directly to the charities concerned.

The remaining quarter came from revenues raised via a television interview with the couple, sales of the Royal Wedding Album and sales of the Mario Testino photograph printed in the wedding brochure.

The 26 charities to benefit were chosen because they were "close to their hearts and reflect the experiences, passions and values of their lives so far," the fund's website said at the time of its launch.

The fund focuses on five causes: 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 Prince William's office said reflected the close ties he had established during past trips.

William and Kate, who married in a glittering ceremony on April 29th, are due to fly to Canada at the end of the month in their first official tour abroad. They will then travel to Los Angeles.

The funds will be distributed by the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

(Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pose for photographers as they arrive for a charity dinner at Kensington Palace in London June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville</p>