Australia donates to Flying Doctors for Will and Kate

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Australia said Monday it will donate Aus$25,000 ($26,400) to the Royal Flying Doctor Service as a wedding gift to Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The couple, who marry on April 29, have asked that anyone intending to send them presents instead give the money to charity.

"The gift was decided following a request from the happy couple to donate to one of their nominated charities instead of a wedding gift," said Prime Minister Julia Gillard's office.

"The Royal Flying Doctor Service has had the longstanding support of the Royal Family for many decades and we are extremely pleased to be able to add to this support through this gift.

"It is a very generous gesture for the happy couple to ask for donations that will go directly to helping out Australians when they need it most."

Prince William visited the Royal Flying Doctor base in Cairns during his most recent visit to Australia last month.

The not-for-profit organisation is an emergency and primary health care service for those living in rural, remote and regional areas of the country.

Gillard, who believes Australia should become a republic when Queen Elizabeth II dies or abdicates, will attend the wedding in London accompanied by boyfriend Tim Mathieson.

Australia's second most powerful woman, Governor-General Quentin Bryce -- the Queen's representative here -- has also been invited to the royal nuptials.

© 2011 AFP

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