“street newspapers,” prince william

In the January issue of The Contributor, the following article was front page news.

Prince William:
Street newspapers inspire me”

He slept rough on the streets of London to experience first-hand what it is like to be homeless. Following in the footsteps of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, he became a Patron of Centrepoint/ the leading charity for young homeless people in the UK. And now–for the first time since his engagement announcement last month–he speaks up to support street papers worldwide.

By His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales for the Street News Service

The exclusive article below is written by His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales for the Street News Service (SNS). SNS is the news agency of the International Network of Street Papers which supports 115 street papers in 40 countries. The titles help homeless people around the world to earn a living.

“The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on the numbers of homeless rough sleepers in our communities. In London alone, rough sleeping has risen by almost a quarter in just two years, and that figure does not even include those who have been forced out of their homes into temporary accommodation or overcrowded housing.

There are many reasons why someone can find themselves homeless: family breakdown, unemployment, drug or alcohol abuse, or falling on desperately hard times, often through no fault of their own. But the effect of homelessness is the same for everyone: a crushing sense of hopelessness and despair. The emotional consequences for the individual can be utterly devastating–sometimes more so than the stark fact of being homeless.

Charities, churches, governments and other bodies can all help with the basics–a roof under which to shelter from the elements, heating and security–but without hope, an individual cannot rebuild a life. And for there to be people with no hope living right alongside us is surely a blight on our societies.

That is why the work of the restorers of hope–street newspapers like The Contributor, my own charity Centrepoint and other organisations and individuals who care–so inspire me. They give homeless people the tools with which to rebuild their confidence and, ultimately, their lives.

I have met many homeless young people who are now filled with a passion and desire to achieve in life, simply because they were given a little support at the right time to get back on their feet. These are people of extraordinary courage. There can be a perception that they have given up and lack courage. Let me tell you, they have not and they do not. I count myself enormously privileged to be associated with such individuals. I salute all the organizations that are there for them.”

a tribute to Diana’s humanitarian efforts…a legacy for her sons…hugmamma. 

 

“normal,” whatever that means

If it weren’t for the fact that Prince William is heir to the British throne, and Kate Middleton will be Queen of England one day, these two star-crossed lovers might just be any normal pair of 20-something year olds venturing forward into holy matrimony. And as Prince Charles, waiting in the wings to be king, so memorably stated when becoming engaged to the country’s beloved Diana, “love, whatever that means,” is what their son and his fiance seem to truly feel for one another.

In “William and Kate,” a biography which hit bookstore shelves recently, their courtship rings of normalcy. Boy meets girl, they like each other, become a couple, and liking evolves into deep caring for one another. In all normal relationships, boy still feels the need to “sow his wild oats.” And in this case, the boy is no different.

Not being a subject of the royal crown, and living thousands of miles from the scene of the action, I was amazed to learn how MUCH Prince William “sowed his wild oats.” In that respect, he seemed very much like his father, Prince Charles. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a prude, but I don’t have a son, I’ve only a daughter. So I’ve not the experience of seeing first-hand, a young man carouse with a steady stream of beautiful women. I can’t even look to my husband’s experience since I was his first, and last, girlfriend before we married. Prior to our meeting, he’d been in a Catholic seminary after completing 8th grade. And because he was pretty shy around girls as a youngster, I’m almost certain his experience where they were concerned was nil.

Prince William had enough “honey” to keep the women buzzing around him. Son of one of the most celebrated women of all time, future king, gifted by the gods with a striking countenance, and exuding a quiet boyishness which encourages the maternal instinct in members of the opposite sex, Wills had no trouble attracting the girls. None. His mother would’ve been proud of him, as I’m sure all parents are when they’re offspring are found attractive and desirable. That increases the size of the “pool” of potential mates, when the time comes for settling down and raising grandchildren. I’m a mom, I too think about such matters. Of William, author Christopher Anderson writes, 

William, on the other hand, danced wildly onstage with a succession of women before collapsing at his table in a drunken stupor. Wills’s bodyguards had to pick him up and, said eyewitness Sue Thompson, “literally carry him off.”

The scene would be repeated over the next several weeks, particularly when Purple had one of its “Dirty Disco” nights. Before long, several of the women William groped and kissed on these evenings began talking to the newspapers.

“William has too much of a roving eye to settle down,” twenty-nine-year-old Purple patron Solange Jacobs said after being told William reportedly had a girlfriend named Kate Middleton. Jacobs was among several women who danced, drank, and snogged with William one night. “The way he acted with me, he didn’t seem to be in love with anyone else. He also chatted with a dancer and eyed up a girl in the VIP area. You wouldn’t have guessed he was seeing Kate. Wills looked very much on the prowl. Kate better watch out if she doesn’t want to be made a fool of.”

William was not above using his being a royal as a come-on. He took Jacobs’s phone number with the promise that he would call her and invite her to his palace. At no time, apparently, did he ever mention that he had a girlfriend. “I wish Kate the best of luck,” Jacobs said. “She might need it.”

And Kate’s response? The smart girl, Camilla’s precise words were “Miss Middleton is a very smart girl,” decided that ” ‘If anyone is going to have fun with him,’ she chided Will’s drinking buddy Guy Pelly, ‘it’s going to be me.’ ” So the next time William frequented any of his favorite London nightspots, “Kate was nestled at his side.” Her reason for such an understanding attitude? His family was to blame. After all, his parents had cheated, and “the Windsor men had a long history of womanizing.” She believed William’s love for her would never cause him to intentionally hurt her.

I’m betting Kate will make an excellent queen, standing loyally by her king, come hell or high water. It seems her calm, cool-headedness will weather whatever storms married life might rustle up. As William himself noted to his friend Guy Pelly,

Kate was, in many ways, becoming the one true constant in his life. “I can rely on her totally…She is completely there for me. I’ve never had anyone in my life like Kate.”

Yes, William and Kate separated for 6 weeks because he was unsure of his commitment to her at the time. But wily Kate pulled out all the stops to win her prince back. Letting him see that she was doing just fine in the company of other men, drove William to finally admit that “he loved her, and that he could not see himself marrying anyone else.”

And I’m betting William and Kate will indeed live happily ever after…if she has anything to do with it.

for the prince and his future queen… huge hugs for being normal…hugmamma.