When Windsor was announced as Harry and Meghan’s wedding venue, a right royal media storm kicked up. And the town’s homeless population was caught in the middle.
Rough sleepers should be swept off the streets ahead of the big day, council leader Simon Dudley urged police earlier this year. As an activist for homelessness charities, Harry confronted the row, albeit sideways. He and Meghan visited Social Bite, the increasingly famous Edinburgh cafe that trains homeless people. It didn’t take Sherlock to read this as an indication of the couple’s position.
The royal wedding has kept homelessness on the agenda. And in this week’s Big Issue we asked some of our Street Art contributors to help us celebrate the royal wedding – Big Issue style!
This week’s cover illustration came from David Tovey, who spent six years as a chef in the army and cooked for the Queen at Windsor Castle. After leaving the military, he ran a restaurant until suffering a stroke in 2011. A series of health problems including cancer and a heart attack followed, leading to homelessness and a suicide attempt.”. Art is one of the best treatments for trauma,” Tovey says. Today he is a rising star in the art world and has founded the One Festival of Homeless Arts
“I’m hoping this picture will help change perceptions of the homeless. To have Meghan and Harry selling the magazine is to highlight that anyone, and I truly mean anyone, can become homeless. It’s also to highlight that a huge number of people become homeless after a marriage break-up, not that I wish that upon Harry and Meghan.
“I’ve been extremely lucky since getting off the streets. Art has given me the power to change my life and to also help others. I could never have done any of this without the help of a stranger who saved my life on a park bench.