Photos of Prince William decked out in the red hat and tabard of a Big Issue seller went viral around the world in recent weeks. But what was really going on?
It was all part of a plan for how William wants to do more to end homelessness, using his 40th birthday on June 21 as a starting point. You can read more about the prince’s views on homelessness and poverty, including a self-penned article, in this week’s edition of The Big Issue magazine, available from your nearest vendor. We just can’t promise he’ll be selling it himself this time.
Here’s how the day unfolded.
A slow start gave Prince William and Big Issue seller Dave Martin a chance to chat.
There were more than a few double-takes as Londoners struggled to believe their eyes. Mind that lamp post!
But passers-by soon began to recognise royalty in their midst.
Most Big Issue sellers are keen for a conversation with customers, given how many people walk on by. The Duke of Cambridge was no different.
And hundreds across the country carry a card reader for ease of use. It also means they have money going into a bank account, a crucial step in breaking the cycle of poverty and accessing other services.
It didn’t take long before William was in his element, joking and laughing with punters.
Fans and tourists had a chance for a rare photo and William and Dave were happy to oblige.
Royal Marines stationed nearby stopped to get a copy as well.
William served in the army, navy and air force in a seven-year military career, while brother Harry was captain general of the royal marines before returning his military ranks in February 2021.
After selling an impressive 30 copies, the pair retired to nearby homelessness charity The Passage to talk further and set the world to rights.
This is the same charity where Princess Diana took William and Harry when they were boys to learn about life outside the palace.
“Thank you for looking after me.” Prince William said. “When you first do it, I can see it’s daunting. You just don’t quite know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to go.”
Read more about what happened when Prince William sold The Big Issue:
- Prince William: ‘Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue’
- What really happened when Prince William sold The Big Issue
- Prince William and Big Issue vendor Dave in conversation: ‘Homelessness is an issue I want to fight for’
- Prince William plans to teach his children about homelessness, as Princess Diana did for him
- In pictures: What really happened when Prince William sold The Big Issue
- Prince William wants to ‘give the next generation less chance of being homeless’