Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary to benefit from gift fund

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is one of 26 charitable organizations that will benefit from the donation fund set up by Prince William and Kate Middleton in lieu of a gift registry.

Charity 1 of 26 chosen by William and Kate in lieu of presents

Prince William and Kate Middleton set up a charitable fund to accept donations in lieu of wedding gifts. (Andrew Milligan/Associated Press)

How do you shop for royalty?

For those scratching their heads, wondering what to get the couple who has everything, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary will gladly accept a royal wedding donation.

The rescue assistance agency is one of the 26 charitable organizations chosen by Prince William and Kate Middleton to benefit from their charitable gift fund, which will accept donations in lieu of wedding gifts.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace officials said the couple was "touched by the good will shown them since the announcement of their engagement" and created the fund so that others could benefit from their good fortune.

The officials said each charity has special meaning for the couple and together the organizations "reflect issues in which the couple have been particularly interested in their lives."

The Coast Guard Auxiliary was established in 1978 and provides search and rescue assistance to the Coast Guard and the military. They have six different outposts across the country with a staff of nearly 5,000 volunteers. The non-profit association also helps administer safe-boating programs.

William chose the Canadian charity, in addition to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and the New Zealand Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, to represent countries he has visited in his lifetime.

A Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary boat patrols the Fraser River in B.C. in 2006. The organization is one of 26 selected for William and Kate's charitable fund. ((Chuck Stoody/Canadian Press))

Other charities reflect William and Kate's affinity for animal conservation, including the Zoological Society of London's efforts to help elephants in Asia and Africa and rhinos in Kenya, the site of the couple's engagement.

William's dedication to military service is also evident, in the choices of the British Army Widows' Fund and Combat Stress, a veterans' mental health charity.

It was widely assumed the couple would lean toward charitable donations instead of a gift registry. One of William and Kate's first gifts was the bestowment, in their honour, of a £70,000 (about $110,000) scholarship for underprivileged students to attend St. Andrew's University, where they first met.

William and Kate are the first British royal couple to request charitable donations instead of gifts, which have historically been quite extravagant. Indeed, when Charles and Diana wed in 1981, the Canadian government gave them a room full of 18th- and 19th-century furniture.

With files from The Associated Press