The British sister organisation of the Port Elizabeth-based Wilderness Foundation Africa has been selected as one of seven charities to benefit from the royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.
The chief executive of Wilderness Foundation Africa and Wilderness Foundation Global, Dr Andrew Muir, said it was an honour for the UK branch of the foundation to be selected as one of the recipients of donations, in the form of wedding gifts, made by the royal couple.
“We are deeply touched and honoured that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to support the Wilderness Foundation and its beneficiaries,” Muir said.
The royal wedding, set to take place on May 19, will see throngs of people gather near the grounds of Windsor Castle in London in the hope of catching a glimpse of the nuptials.
As part of royal tradition, any gifts bestowed on the newlyweds are donated to charities.
When Prince Harry’s brother, Prince William, married Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in 2011, more than £1-million (about R17-million) was donated to their selected charities.
Prince Harry and Suits actress Markle have asked anyone wanting to present the royal couple with a wedding gift to rather make a donation to one of their selected charities.
Prince Harry visited the Wilderness Foundation UK in September and spent time with children who had benefited from programmes offered by the non-government organisation. Wilderness Foundation UK chief executive Jo Roberts said the visit had affected the lives of those with whom Prince Harry had engaged.
“The royal visit from Prince Harry left everyone feeling very seen, heard and understood,” she said.
“His ease and natural warmth touched us all.
“He is also very knowledgeable on conservation issues.”
Muir said the donations would be used to expand the number of young people touched by the organisation’s programmes.
“Donations will help the foundation spread the reach of their programmes to more students, and young adults in environmental leadership programmes,” he said.
Other organisations set to receive donations include HIVA (Children’s HIV Association), Crisis, The Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames and Surfers Against Sewage.