Prince William Secretly Sells Magazines on the Streets of London to Help the Homeless

·3 min read
Prince William
Prince William

Prince William

Prince William went incognito as he took to the streets of London this week to sell issues of a U.K. magazine that supports the homeless.

The Duke of Cambridge, 39, wore a red seller's vest and a nametag as he asked passersby if they would like the latest copy of Big Issue magazine, which s sold by homeless people, long-term unemployed people and those who need money to avoid getting into debt.

William's under-the-radar act of kindness might have even gone unnoticed if he hadn't been spotted by a relative of a former Metropolitan Policeman who posted about it on LinkedIn, reports The Sun.

Retired Chief Supt. Matthew Gardner said his brother-in-law had spotted a familiar face, dressed casually in jeans with a Big Issue best and hat on. He initially thought it was a celebrity until he went and took a closer look.

RELATED: 'You've Grown:' Homeless Center Volunteer Greets Prince William 23 Years After He First Visited with Diana

"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," Gardner said in the LinkedIn post.


IAN VOGLER/AFP/Getty Prince William prepares food during his visit to homelessness charity The Passage in London on February 13, 2019

When William's potential new customer said he had no change in his pocket to buy the $5 magazine, the prince whipped out an electronic mobile credit card machine so that the transaction could be made.

"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,'" Gardner said.

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

"Priceless, or should I say 'princely.'"

William's office at Kensington Palace declined to comment.

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Like his late mother Princess Diana, William has been a longtime supporter of needs of the homeless community. When he was a teenager, he spent a night on the streets in London to get a sense of what it was like for those who are homeless and also to highlight their plight.

He has followed in the footsteps of his late mother in championing those who help people without homes and has been patron of Centrepoint, a charity she also supported, since 2005. He also backs The Passage center and made frequent visits as a child alongside Diana and his brother Prince Harry.

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart after a visit of Cardiff Castle
Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge depart after a visit of Cardiff Castle

Samir Hussein/WireImage Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte

William has also started to educate his young children — Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — on the issue. During an appearance on the BBC special A Berry Royal Christmas in 2019, he told baking expert Mary Berry that he has been teaching his children about the causes they champion in their royal work.

"On the school run already . . . whenever we see someone who is sleeping rough on the street I talk about it and I point it out and I explain," William said.

"And they are all very interested," he added. "They are like: 'Why can't they go home?'"

William volunteered for the Big Issue just days after the royal family came together to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years on the throne.