Prince William stuns as future King spotted selling Big Issue in ‘silent gesture’ | Royal | News

The Duke of Cambridge was spotted by a Londoner as he was selling copies of the Big Issue, a magazine providing support to homeless people, in Rochester Row, in the borough of Westminster. Prince William was approached by the brother-in-law of Matthew Gardner, a retired Met Police chief superintendent, only after he spotted a “celebrity” and decided to investigate further.

The quiet charity work being carried out by the future King was revealed by Mr Gardner in a LinkedIn post in which he recalled his relative’s fortuitous meeting.

He wrote: “My brother-in-law was in London today and saw a celebrity, so he took a photo at a distance.

“The celebrity saw the ‘covert surveillance’ effort and crossed the road to investigate further.

“What an honor 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.”

Prince William agreed to take a picture with Mr Gardner’s brother-in-law.

In the snap, also shared on LinkedIn, the Duke can be seen wearing the red cap and vest normally donned by Big Issue sellers.

He also wore a casual blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up and blue jeans.

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Mr Gardner added the Duke of Cambridge was quick to turn the meeting with the passerby into a sale.

He wrote: “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 can not teach that!

“Priceless, or should I say ‘princely’.”


One of the pillars of the Duke of Cambridge’s royal work is fighting homelessness and supporting charities with this goal.

William’s collaboration with Big Issue, to which he gave an interview in 2015, is the last known charitable effort he has been involved in.

In 2005, he spent a night sleeping rough in London to better understand the hurdles and fears experienced on a daily basis by homeless people.

In 2013, he rolled up his sleeves and served food at a Centerpoint homeless center in Sunderland, after having helped in the kitchen of various shelters of the charity numerous times.

Prince William’s first learned about homelessness when he was brought, alongside his brother Harry, to homeless shelters and charities focused on the issues by Princess Diana.

Years later, the Duke spoke about the big impact these experiences had had on him and started supporting the Passage, in Victoria, and Centrepoint, as their patron.

During a visit to The Passage last year, the Duke also said: “Over the many years that I have visited The Passage, first with my mother when I was just a small boy, I have developed a great affection for everyone who is here.

“Every time I come here, I am touched by your warmth and friendliness, and the dignity and respect you show to every single person who comes through your door.

“I am always so impressed to see and hear the difference that The Passage makes to the lives of people who are experiencing homelessness.”

The Duke is following his mother’s example and has already introduced their children to the concept of homelessness, as he told Mary Berry during the BBC’s special A Berry Royal Christmas in 2020.

William said: “On the school run already, bear in mind they’re six and four, whenever we see anyone who is sleeping rough on the streets, I talk about it and I point it out and I explain why and they’re all very interested. ”

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