‘Life beyond palace walls’ -How Prince William’s Big Issue outing continues Diana’s legacy

Prince William blows goodbye kisses to Prince Louis

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The Big Issue provides people affected by long-term unemployment and homelessness the chance to earn an income by selling the publication to the public, and today Prince William supported the initiative by selling the magazine himself in the capital. The future King was dressed in a Big Issue baseball cap and jacket, and he even produced a card machine for one prospective customer when they said they had no cash to hand.

Richard Hannant, a property manager, spotted the royal was selling the publication while on his way back to the office, and he told the PA news agency: “He was amazing, he was so friendly.”

He added: “I think what struck me is we’ve just got past a massive Jubilee event and days later he’s out there supporting a charity like Big Issue.

“I think it’s that that I thought was most amazing because one is a worldwide event, this is just a low-key (event), literally standing on the side of the road with a homeless person.

“I was quite amazed that he could go from one massive event to such a low-key thing.”

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Photos of the encounter were shared on the social platform LinkedIn by Mr Hannant’s brother-in-law Matthew Gardner, a retired Met Police Chief Superintendent.

He captioned the snap: “What an honour to have a private moment with our future king who was humble and working quietly in the background, helping the most needy.

“These ‘silent gestures’ often go unrecognised.

“The finale to this unique occasion was when Prince William asked my brother-in-law If he wanted to buy the Big Issue, to which he replied ‘I have no change’.

“At this point William produced a mobile card machine… you cannot teach that!”

He added: “Priceless, or should I say, ‘princely’.”

Prince William is the patron of Centrepoint, a charity which provides accommodation and support for young people affected by homelessness.

William and his brother Prince Harry made many visits to Centrepoint as children as their mother, Princess Diana, was also a patron of the charity.

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Homelessness has been a key part of William’s royal work, and in 2009 he spent a night sleeping rough on the streets of London to raise awareness of the challenges homeless people face day after day.

The future King is also a patron of The Passage, which is the UK’s largest centre for homeless people.

He visited the centre in 2019 with TV chef Mary Berry for the BBC’s ‘A Berry Royal Christmas’, and he discussed how his mother had taken him there as a child and raised his awareness of the issue.

He said: “It was one of the first places I came to actually. I must have been between eight and 10, something like that. It had a profound impact on me.

“My mother knew what she was doing with it. She realised that it was very important when you grow up – especially in the life that we grew up – that you realise that life happens beyond palace walls, and that you see real people struggling with real issues.”

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