“I turned around to the royal protection officer and said, ‘On behalf of The Big Issue, I’d like to donate you The Big Issue and I thank you for what you’re doing here today.’
“The prince came out and I said, ‘Thank you very much for what you’re doing, and helping the homeless and those of us who are less fortunate than yourself.’
“He paid for my lunch. He told them to make sure that I’ve got a lunch on him. He also got his secretary to give me a tenner to pay for the issue. He was a lovely bloke.”
Prince William was in the Bournemouth shop to see how Pret a Manger was joining him in his bid to end homelessness.
The sandwich chain has committed to help at least 500 people at risk or experiencing homelessness into jobs through its Rising Stars programme over the next five years.
The prince made sandwiches and spoke to staff in Bournemouth, which is one of six flagship locations making up his Homewards programme.
He was joined by new Homeward advocate Bartlett and met Gascoigne, who lives locally, during the visit too.
After leaving the sandwich shop, William met with representatives from local and national businesses to develop plans to end homelessness in the area.
He finished the trip at Premier League side AFC Bournemouth where he heard how the club is supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable adults to live independently.
The royal’s efforts to end homelessness certainly got the approval of Big Issue vendor Burns.
“I think it’s an absolutely brilliant idea,” said Burns, who added he would be “lost” without The Big Issue.
“When my children saw me on the telly the other night with a future king and a world-class football player, my boy’s got ADHD and he hasn’t stopped skipping since he saw me on the telly. It’s brilliant.”
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