Prince William reveals how his ‘eye-opening’ Big Issue shift will impact George, Charlotte, and Louis

The Duke of Cambridge has reflected on his experience working for The Big Issue undercover in London ahead of his 40th birthday

Prince William reveals how his Big Issue shift will impact Cambridge kids
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William has revealed that he hopes his experience selling The Big Issue will inspire his three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, to also pursue philanthropic work. 

The Duke of Cambridge has vowed to instill charitable values in his three children, George, Charlotte, and Louis, after completing an undercover shift for a social business that tackles UK homelessness in London earlier this month.  

Prince William stunned fans after he was spotted selling The Big Issue magazine incognito on June 9, having swapped his usual formal attire for the signature red vest and cap and a pair of denim jeans. While many pedestrians passed by him without a second glance, it didn't take long for the 39-year-old's true identity to be recognized. Soon enough, he was surrounded by starstruck tourists looking for a quick hello and a cheeky photo. 

William, who was shown the ropes by long-term Big Issue vendor Dave Martin during his inaugural shift, sold a total of 30 copies of the magazine before heading to nearby charity, The Passage, for further discussions on the issue of homelessness. 

Prince William shows his support during a visit to the new London centre of James' Placeduring

Prince William has revealed why he wanted to work for The Big Issue in a new article 

(Image credit: Photo Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

He has now appeared on the cover of this week's The Big Issue, in which he has also penned an article to explain why he wanted to work with the social enterprise in his own words. 

"I was 11 when I first visited a homeless shelter with my mother [Princess Diana], who in her own inimitable style was determined to shine a light on an overlooked, misunderstood problem," he writes. "The Big Issue had launched just two years before, offering people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a magazine to the public and providing a solution to the issues that saw a growing number of people on the streets of the nation’s capital." 

William went on to call the experience 'eye-opening' and praised his coworker, Dave, as a 'hardworking, funny, joyful man' whom he was 'lucky' to accompany on a shift. 

However, despite its tireless efforts, The Big Issue is far from solving the societal problem of homelessness. 

"Homelessness is still seen by many as some entrenched phenomenon over which we have little power," he adds, before warning that "there are worrying signs that things might soon get worse as people feel the effects of higher prices and find it harder to make ends meet. " 

The future King, who turns 40 tomorrow, has now revealed that he plans to expose his own children to the reality of homelessness. Despite having lived in the luxurious environment of Kensington Palace for almost all of his life, William has always remained in touch with disadvantaged communities – having learned the importance of giving back from the late Princess Diana.  

"In the years ahead, I hope to bring George, Charlotte, and Louis to see the fantastic organizations doing inspiring work to support those most in need – just as my mother did for me," he wrote.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.