Jewels and gold? No thanks. Royal couple wants well-wishers to donate to charity instead.

Preparations for the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton have captured the world’s attention, and today, finally, the presumed future king and queen of England finally tied the knot in front of 1,900 guests, at least a million people who crowded the streets of London, and more than two billion people worldwide watching the ceremony on TV.

There is an unending variety of gifts out there that you can by for yourself to commemorate the day. There are tasteful items, like decorative plates and thimbles, and some less classy choices like air sickness bags, a refrigerator with the couple’s photo on it, or PEZ dispensers bearing the likeness of William and Kate, which sold at auction for $13,360.

But choosing a gift TO GIVE to royals is a little trickier. Past British royalty have received thousands of wedding gifts, worth millions of dollars, including jewels, gold-encrusted boats and racehorses.

In response to financial problems in Britain, including layoffs and cuts to social services, (and possibly in an effort to lighten their thank you card responsibilities) the couple asked well-wishers to refrain from sending them gifts. Instead, they want them to make a donation to charity.

The Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton Charitable Gift Fund will benefit 26 charities hand-picked by the couple. The charities support diverse causes from environmental conservation and the arts to help for army widows and children being bullied.

Though the couple announced the creation of the fund just last month, more than 260,000 people have visited its website and donations are estimated to be well into six figures.

The royal couple has chosen to take a day that’s supposed to be all about them and make it, at least to some degree, about needy subjects as well.

They’ve also provided an answer to the question “What do you get for the couple that already lives in a palace and is friends with Elton John?”


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