UK royal wedding fund raises $1.62 million

Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:49am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) - More than one million pounds ($1.62 million) has been contributed to a gift fund set up by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 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 Prince William and Kate Middleton'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 kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, watched by bridemaids Grace van Cutsem (L) and Margarita Armstrong-Jones and pageboy Tom Pettifer, after their wedding in Westminster Abbey, in central London April 29, 2011. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>