Prince William reflects on how Princess Diana's devotion to helping the homeless impacted him to do the same

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  • Prince William, who turns 40 on Tuesday, wrote a special piece for the UK's Big Issue magazine.
  • The royal opens up about the personal impact of Princess Diana's devotion to helping the homeless.
  • He also revealed that he intends to follow in his mother's footsteps by introducing his children to the cause when they're ready.

Prince William, who turns 40 on Tuesday, wrote a special essay for the UK's Big Issue magazine.

Just short of two weeks after he was spotted on the streets of London selling copies of the magazine, which supports homeless people, the Duke of Cambridge has opened up about the personal impact of Princess Diana's devotion to helping the homeless.

"I was 11 when I first visited a homeless shelter with my mother, who in her own inimitable style was determined to shine a light on an overlooked, misunderstood problem," William wrote.

"In the 30-odd years since, I've seen countless projects in this space grow from strength to strength, including charities of which I have had the honour of being Patron."

Prince William further detailed his experience as a street magazine vendor: "My time was truly eye-opening … 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 and are barely given a second glance by passers-by."

Speaking about a man named Dave, who regularly sells magazines, William wrote, "A hardworking, funny, joyful man, Dave is the kind of person we should all be actively encouraging and supporting."

"While The Big Issue provides a mechanism by which Dave can provide for himself, earn a living and – in his words – regain some self-respect, it is reliant on us playing our part too. Because he can only succeed if we recognise him, we see him, and we support him," the prince added.

The royal concluded his essay by revealing that he intends to follow in his mother's footsteps by introducing his children – Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and 4-year-old Prince Louis – to the cause when they're ready.

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

"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."

READ NEXT | This is 40: How future king William's influence is growing 


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