Prince William swapped his usual suit and tie for a red vest and cap as he went undercover as a Big Issue seller on the streets of London this week.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, tried to keep a low profile as he sold magazines on Rochester Row, Westminster, yesterday but was spotted by eagle-eyed passersby.
William, who has followed in his mother Princess Diana’s footsteps in supporting a number of homelessness charities, happily posed for photographs with members of the public.
When one man said he had ‘no change’, William whipped out a card machine so he could make a purchase.
The royal, who spent the weekend celebrating his grandmother the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, was praised for the ‘silent gesture’ of charity by one man who stopped to chat, while others hailed the ‘humble’ royal for leading by example.
Kensington Palace declined to comment on Prince William’s Big Issue volunteering.
Inspiring photographs have emerged showing Prince William selling the Big Issue in central London (pictured)
The Duke of Cambridge (pictured posing for photos while selling the Big Issue), 39, donned a red seller’s vest and hat before standing in Rochester Row, Westminster to quietly sell the magazine
Prince William is all smiles as he poses with a fellow Big Issue seller (pictured centre) as they wear matching uniforms
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their three children spent the weekend celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Pictured, the couple with Prince George and Princess Charlotte during a visit to Cardiff
Retired Met Police chief superintendent Matthew Gardner was one of the first to share images of William selling the Big Issue on his Linkedin account – and others quickly followed suit, posting pictures with the future King to Instagram.
Mr Gardner said in a post made yesterday: ‘My brother-in-law was in London today and saw a celebrity, so he took a photo at a distance. The celebrity saw the “covert surveillance” effort and crossed the road to investigate further.
‘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,’ he added.
He continued: ‘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! Priceless, or should I say ‘Princely’.’
The Duke of Cambridge is patron of Centrepoint homeless charity and in 2020 revealed that he talks to his older children Prince George, now eight, and Princess Charlotte, now seven, about the issue of homelessness.
Speaking to Mary Berry for her Christmas special A Berry Royal Christmas, he said: ‘On the school run already, bear in mind they’re six and four, whenever we see anyone who is sleeping rough on the streets, I talk about it and I point it out and I explain why and they’re all very interested. They’re like: “Why can’t they go home?”‘
Prince William (pictured left) was spotted by a passing Londoner who thought they recognised a ‘celebrity’ – and got in closer for a better look
Retired Met Police chief superintendent Matthew Gardner shared images of William selling the Big Issue on his Linkedin account (pictured)
In December 2009, a then-27-year-old Prince William spent a night sleeping rough to understand the plight of the homeless at Christmas
Mr Gardner’s Linkedin post has been shared widely online, and many social media users have expressed their admiration for William, calling him ‘amazing’ for his acts.
Prince William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, and their three children – which also includes Prince Louis, four, spent the weekend celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Earlier this week, Prince William and Kate shared a glimpse inside their Jubilee celebration as they posted snaps offering a behind-the-scenes look at their ‘fantastic’ weekend online.
The Duke and Duchess took to their official Instagram page to share a number of photographs from events across the weekend, including images taken at royal events.
(L-R) Camilla, Prince Charles, the Queen, Prince George, Prince William, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and the Duchess of Cambridge stand on the balcony during the Platinum Pageant on June 05, 2022 in London
Prince William, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis sing the national anthem as they appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, at the end of the Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside Buckingham Palace in London on Sunday
Earlier this week, Prince William and Kate shared a glimpse inside their Jubilee celebration as they posted snaps offering a behind-the-scenes look at their ‘fantastic’ weekend online
In one snap, Kate can be seen waiting with George, Charlotte and Louis on steps of Buckingham Palace at Trooping the Colour.
In another, Kate and William can be seen attending a street party in Kensington, just a short walk from her London residency of Kensington Palace, as they chatted with local attendees.
Meanwhile the caption hinted at the fun they’d had as a family over the weekend, reading: ‘We all had an incredible time, especially Louis…’.
Four-year-old Prince Louis stole the show at a number of royal events over the weekend. After wowing fans on the Royal balcony, he showed off his star power again while watching the fourth day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations last night.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took to their official Instagram page to share a number of photographs from events across the weekend, including images taken at royal events
A number of other photographs showed the couple at a Kensington street party. The Duchess was dressed in a blue dress with white polka dots, which she later changed out of when she appeared at the Royal Box in pink on the fourth day of the Jubilee weekend
The caption read: ‘What a fantastic weekend of celebrations. Seeing people across the nation coming together with family, friends and loved ones has been extremely special.
‘Thank you to everyone who turned out to show their gratitude to The Queen and her inspiring 70 years of leadership.
‘From the crowds on the Mall to communities hosting street parties up and down the country, we hope you had a weekend to remember.’
The caption went on to hint at the fun the youngest Cambridge child had had during the event. Prince Louis wowed royal fans over the weekend and delighted crowds on Thursday as he stood next to his great-grandmother The Queen with his hands covering his ears amid the roaring cries of the public.
How then 27-year-old Prince William slept in freezing back alley to help him highlight plight of homeless
In December 2009, a then-27-year-old Prince William spent a night sleeping rough to understand the plight of the homeless at Christmas
In December 2009, a then-27-year-old Prince William spent a night sleeping rough to understand the plight of the homeless at Christmas.
He arrived shortly before midnight and stayed out in temperatures as low as minus 4c, lying in a central London alleyway surrounded by wheelie bins.
The second in line to the throne was accompanied by his right-hand man at St James’s Palace, former SAS officer Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, one of the Scotland Yard police protection officers who accompany him everywhere and Seyi Obakin, chief executive of Centrepoint, a charity which works with young homeless people.
Dressed in jeans, trainers, a hooded sweatshirt and beanie hat, he went unrecognised as he laid a piece of cardboard down on the floor and climbed into his sleeping bag.
It wasn’t an altogether new experience for former Army officer William, who has often lived rough on exercises. But it certainly wasn’t a pleasant one, as temperatures plunged, making sleep almost impossible.
After sleeping fitfully, William rolled up his sleeping bag at 6am and walked through the streets for 45 minutes, stopping to talk to several homeless people on the way.
He went to Centrepoint’s hostel in Greek Street, Soho, where he showered before cooking breakfast for some of the residents and cutting a cake to celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary.
The Prince, who is patron of the charity Centrepoint, said he was trying to ‘do his bit’ to help the vulnerable.
He was slightly better off than the average rough sleeper, as he was accompanied by his armed personal protection officer, his private secretary – a former SAS officer – and the chief executive of the homelessness charity.
Even the venue, a secluded spot close to Blackfriars Bridge in the City, was carefully chosen for safety.
The Duke said afterwards that the experience had helped to deepen his understanding of life on the streets.
In a statement released on December 22, William said: ‘I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night.
‘Centrepoint’s work – along with many other organisations’ – in tackling these fundamental causes is desperately important if we are ever to end homelessness in this country.
‘I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets.’
Meanwhile Mr Obakin told the Mail: ‘William asked whether there was anything he could do to help understand what our young people go through.
‘I thought on my feet and came up with the thing that I thought he was least likely to do. To my surprise, he said yes. We took as much precaution as possible – finding a relatively secluded spot in an alleyway, shielded partly by a collection of wheelie bins.
‘But there was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a kicking. I have never been happier to welcome the break of dawn!’
Prince Harry will be ‘furious’ and feel like he is ‘owed an apology’ by the Royal Family after he and Meghan were ‘largely ignored’ during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, biographer claims
Prince Harry is likely to have felt ‘absolutely furious’ during the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee – and could ‘want an apology from the royal family’, according to an expert.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex only made one public appearance at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, despite flying in from the US with their two children – Archie and Lilibet.
However, the Sussexes did meet the Queen – though their request for a photograph of Her Majesty meeting their youngest child for the first time was allegedly rejected.
Biographer Angela Levin, who spent a year with Harry, has now claimed the prince is likely to feel as if he is ‘owed an apology’ and was ‘largely ignored’ at the four-day celebration.
She added that the Duke of Sussex is allegedly ‘absolutely furious’ about the situation.
Prince Harry is likely to have felt ‘absolutely furious’ during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – and could ‘want an apology from the royal family’, according to an expert
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (left) only made one public appearance at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, despite flying in from the US with their two children – Archie and Lilibet. Pictured right: William and Kate
Biographer Angela Levin, who spent a year with Harry, has now claimed the prince feels as if he is ‘owed an apology’ and was ‘largely ignored’ at the four-day celebration
According to Ms Levin, it was clear Harry was unhappy when attending a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Friday.
She told The Sun: ‘The thing that really stood out for me on that day was Harry’s anger – he wears his emotions on his face and he looked absolutely furious.
‘I think it’s quite interesting really – he could have been feeling lots of things. I don’t know whether he had a wave of feeling at what he had given up.’
Ms Levin added: ‘I think he would have been very, very upset that he was largely ignored. He still feels he’s owed an apology.’ However, the royal expert said Harry is ‘the one who should apologise’.
She also claimed Harry and Meghan did not check Prince William and Kate Middleton’s schedule before inviting them to a birthday party for Lilibet at Frogmore Cottage.
At the time, Kate and William were in Wales with Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
It comes after Ms Levin told GB News that Netflix was keen to secure images of Harry and Meghan with royals like the Queen and Prince William for a documentary series they are filming.
It is notable that the Sussexes were reportedly told there was ‘no chance’ of an official photograph of the Queen meeting their one-year-old daughter Lilibet.
According to Ms Levin, it was clear Harry was unhappy when attending a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Friday
Palace insiders may have worried any photos taken by Harry and Meghan would be shared with TV networks in the US or in Harry’s upcoming memoirs.
Speaking to GB News, Ms Levin said this image would have been ‘very, very valuable’, adding: ‘They would have used it for Netflix. It would give them a kudos that they had her with her great grandmother, you know.’
She said: ‘Harry and Meghan wanted to see the Queen as soon as possible so she saw them on the first day.
‘She went in, and then they asked if they brought their own photographer and they asked if he could take a picture of the two Lilibets and she said “no, absolutely not possible”.
‘Because they would have sold it. It would be very valuable, very valuable to them.
‘Actually the palace was so clever and cunning that they never had a chance to be photographed with any of the senior royals.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have released a new picture of Lilibet at Frogmore Cottage where she celebrated her first birthday on Saturday
In this picture, Lilibet is seen in her mother Meghan’s arms inside Frogmore, beside photographer Misan Harriman’s wife Camilla Holmstroem and their two daughters
‘I heard Netflix wanted these pictures of them with the royals, but they were sitting on the right hand side and the rest of them, Camilla, Charles, Catherine and William, on the other side.’
Ms Levin said she believes that after failing to get the images they wanted they ‘probably just went off in a rage’.
‘I think they felt that everyone would drop everything,’ she added. ‘Even on this amazing day because they were there, they’d come back.
‘I thought they were like petulant teenagers really. If they didn’t get what they wanted, they would leave and they left early.’
Ms Levin also criticised the pair for compromising their own security, despite suing the government over security concerns.
Birthday cake? The Duke and Duchess of Sussex asked the baker who created their wedding cake to make a creation for their daughter Lilibet’s low-key first birthday party. Claire Ptak shared a photo of this beautiful pink cake topped with peonies, which could be Lilibet’s
‘There he was in a car with black windows, so they were obliged with that so nobody could see who it was, and they opened the windows right down and started waving at the people,’ she said.
‘That was an indication to me that couldn’t be out of the spotlight, however, that is very dangerous, someone can throw a bomb in or a load of tomatoes in through the window.
She added: ‘And actually, they also flew back on a jet that cost £160,000 but that’s their business, but it put out ten times more carbon emissions than a normal plane would.
‘We’ve had them telling us all we mustn’t fly, we must be careful…we mustn’t let all this carbon emissions carry on – and there they are doing it themselves.’