The Duke of Cambridge feels lucky to have the role he has. In an opinion piece for The Big Issue, which was published online on the eve of the royal’s 40th birthday, Prince William penned, “I count myself extremely lucky to have a role that allows me to meet people from all walks of life, and to understand their full story – whatever it may be. It’s a privilege that many of us, busy with our days, don’t always afford.”
The royal dad of three continued, “And while I may seem like one of the most unlikely advocates for this cause, I have always believed in using my platform to help tell those stories and to bring attention and action to those who are struggling. I plan to do that now I’m turning 40, even more than I have in the past.”
Earlier this month, William hits the streets of London to sell copies of The Big Issue with Big Issue vendor Dave Martin. The weekly magazine gives homeless, long-term unemployed and marginalised people the opportunity to earn an income.
William admitted in his article that he wanted to see what it was like to be a Big Issue vendor. “My time was truly eye opening. I was lucky to join Dave on a warm, sunny day in June,” he shared. “People recognised a familiar face and were happy to give me the time of day. But that isn’t the case for the vast majority of Big Issue vendors, who sell year-round – including through the bleak winter months – and are barely given a second glance by passers-by.”
William, who turns 40 on June 21, wrote that he is committed to continuing to do what he can to shine a spotlight on homelessness. The Duke was 11 when he first visited The Passage, a homeless charity that he is now royal patron of, with his mother Princess Diana. On Instagram, William shared that since that outing with his mom “homelessness has stuck with me as an issue I want to fight for.
In the years ahead, the Duke hopes to bring his children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis “to see the fantastic organisations doing inspiring work to support those most in need” just like his late mother did for him. He wrote in The Big Issue, “As she instinctively knew, and as I continue to try and highlight, the first step to fixing a problem is for everyone to see it for what it truly is.”