The Duke of Cambridge has been spotted on the streets of London selling copies of the Big Issue.
William was seen by a number of members of the public on Wednesday, wearing a red cap with the Big Issue logo on, as well as a red vendor vest.
Tourists from Lithuania, Vitalijus and Laura Zuikauskas, met the Prince on their visit to London, which coincided with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Speaking about the encounter, Vitalijus Zuikauskas said: “We bought the magazine and had a warm chat. We wished him good luck and shook hands, and were excited that the Royal Family take big care of ordinary people.”
He noted the future Monarch had a ‘warm personality’ and the couple were ‘excited and really happy’ to meet him.
The Big Issue is a magazine founded by John Bird and Gordon Roddick in September 1991. Vendors are homeless or in a precarious housing situation and purchase the magazines to sell at a profit to the public.
Prince William being spotted selling ‘The Big Issue’ on the streets of London is actually iconic ??
These are sold to raise money for those experiencing homelessness, this news only came to light because people took pictures with him and one man posted it on LinkedIn ❤️ pic.twitter.com/coMqGboIFB
— Kayla Adams (@KaylaAdams___) June 9, 2022
The organisation’s motto is ‘a hand up, not a hand out’, and they have helped 92,000 homeless and impoverished people earn £115 million through work rather than begging. There are around 1,500 vendors sell The Big Issue across the UK today.
Prince William also was spotted by black cab driver Neil Kramer, who was charging up his ‘taxi on Rochester Row in Westminster, when I was approached by a vendor who introduced himself as William and asked would I like to buy a copy of the Big Issue.’
“When I realised who it was, I was a bit shocked but of course said yes. He then introduced the other gentlemen with him and we had a lovely chat for 15 minutes about the charity and its work.”
Kramer said the future King asked him if he was a regular reader of The Big Issue, to which the cabbie replied there was always an opportunity to buy the magazine when on a rank or charging up.
Retired Met Police Ch Supt Matthew Gardner also shared photos of Prince William on Rochester Row, in Westminster, on his LinkedIn profile. It was his brother-in-law, Richard Hannant, met The Duke of Cambridge.
Gardner said his brother-in-law thought it was a celebrity and took a distanced photo. William then crossed the road and spoke to Mr Hannant while wearing the iconic Big Issue uniform.
He said: “He was amazing, he was so friendly. I think what struck me is we’ve just got past a massive Jubilee event and days later he’s out there supporting a charity like Big Issue.
“I think it’s that that I thought was most amazing because one is a worldwide event, this is just a low-key [event], literally standing on the side of the road with a homeless person. I was quite amazed that he could go from one massive event to such a low-key thing.”
The Duke of Cambridge has been spotted out in London this week selling copies of the @BigIssue which supports the homeless community. Prince William is patron of @centrepointuk and supports several homelessness charities ? Matthew Gardner pic.twitter.com/n9bayWduuw
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) June 9, 2022
Sharing the pictures on social media, Mr Gardner said how it was 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. 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’.”
Similar to his late mother Diana, William has been a longtime supporter 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 is the Patron of Centrepoint, a charity he has supported since 2005. William is also supports The Passage, and made frequent visits with his mother and brother and continues to make solo visits.