Prince William made a public appearance this week in support of a cause that was one of his late mother Princess Diana’s top priorities.
The Prince of Wales visited the London outpost of Depaul on Thursday, a charitable organization what has worked for over 30 years to support local unhoused communities throughout the United Kingdom and address the issues they face. Throughout the royal’s childhood, his late mother Princess Diana regularly emphasized the importance of this issue to both her sons, taking them with her to visit homeless shelters and learn more about the problem. She even visited Depaul three times in the early ’90s in support of their mission, helping to open the first Depaul Trust Hostel in Willesden in June 1995. Today, William is the patron of two charities that work to address this issue, The Passage and Centrepoint, the latter of which his mother was also championed.
During his visit to the charity’s London offices, the prince met with staff members and spoke with both previous and current users of the organization’s services. He also got to learn about a few of those services, including their medium-long term supported accommodations and the help they provide to young people to gain access to education and employment, all while managing their own mental health and wellbeing. While chatting with some of the charity’s employees, William was also brought up to speed regarding the group’s latest prevention services to help mitigate homelessness, including educational workshops being taught at schools, meditation, and various forms of familial support. Depaul also offers an award-winning Nightstop service which provides emergency same-night accommodation in homes that have been trained and vetted by their program. The Prince of Wales’s office said in a statement that Depaul shares William’s values, providing young people with the knowledge and skills they need to help prevent youth homelessness, as well as working with the government, local authorities, religious groups, and other NGOs to develop new ways of responding to homelessness.
Last June, to celebrate his 40th birthday, Prince William was interview by The Big Issue, a newspaper that supports the unhoused. In an opinion piece he wrote for the outlet, the royal said, “I refuse to believe that homelessness is an irrevocable fact of life. It is an issue that can be solved, but that requires a continued focus and comprehensive support network.”
Listen to Vanity Fair’s DYNASTY podcast now.