Prince William sleeps rough on the streets of sub-zero London

Britain may be under two feet of snow, a freezing wind may be blowing in straight from the Urals via Scandinavia and the weathermen are laying the odds on this being the start of the next Ice Age, but that hasn't stopped Prince William sleeping on the sub-zero streets of London.

The future King scrapped the comforts of Clarence House to spend a night sleeping amongst a group of wheelie bins near to London's Blackfriars Bridge - which became infamous in 1982 after an Italian banker was gruesomly murdered by being hanged from it - to get a taste of what it's like to be homeless.

The event was organised by the homeless charity Centrepoint, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, of which William is the patron.

Centrepoint's chief executive Seyi Obakin offered the challenge to the Prince, but he thought that William would not take up the offer.

The pair were joined on the sleep-out by William's private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, and bedded down on cardboard boxes in an alleyway just after midnight last Wednesday.

Obakin said the 'hairiest moment' came when they were almost run over by a road sweeper.

William lives in Clarence House on The Mall with his father, Prince Charles, stepmother Camilla Parker Bowles and brother Prince Harry.

Clarence House was built between 1825 and 1827 by King George IV, the "Sailor King", the uncle of Prince William's great-great-great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria.

Prince William sleeps rough on the streets of sub-zero London to experience life of homeless

By Daily Mail Reporter
22nd December 2009

Prince William spent a chilly night sleeping rough on the streets of London to experience what it is like being homeless, it emerged today.

The royal bedded down in a sleeping bag next to a group of wheelie bins around Blackfriars Bridge in the capital last week in an event organised by the homeless charity Centrepoint.

The organisation's chief executive Seyi Obakin slept next to the prince on their makeshift bed and said the 'hairiest moment' came when they were almost run over by a road sweeper.

'Scary': Prince William and Seyi Obakin bed down for the night in their sleeping bags near Blackfriars bridge, London, where the temperature plummeted to minus 4C

Writing on the Centrepoint website, he said: 'For me, it was a scary experience. Out of my comfortable bed. Out there in the elements.

'Out there on an extremely cold night, with temperatures down to minus 4. And it was the same for Prince William.

'But he was determined to do it as (Centrepoint) patron in order to raise awareness of the problem and to be able to understand a little better what people sleeping rough go through night after night.'

Earlier in the year, Centrepoint's chief executive challenged the Prince to experience being homeless for one night and Mr Obakin said he did not think the royal would pick up the gauntlet.

The offer came after William, 27, in a speech to mark Centrepoint's 40th anniversary this year, challenged the organisation to redouble its efforts to end youth homelessness.

Raising awareness: The location near the bridge where the prince slept to experience being homeless

The pair were joined on the sleep-out by William's private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, and bedded down on cardboard boxes in an alleyway just after midnight last Wednesday.

In a grainy photograph released by the homeless charity, the Prince, dressed in jeans, trainers, a hooded top and a hat, can be seen standing next to Mr Obakin with their bedding around them.

The chief executive wrote on his charity's website: 'We took as much precaution as possible - finding a relatively secluded spot in an alleyway, shielded partly by a collection of wheelie bins.

'But there was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a "good kicking".

'One of the hairiest moments occurred when we were almost run over by a road sweeper which simply didn't see our small group huddled together, which just goes to show how vulnerable rough sleepers are.

'I have never been happier to welcome the break of dawn.'

Challenge: Prince William agreed to sleeping rough after making a speech as patron at charity Centrepoint's 40th anniversary event. Right, the prince is better used to bedding down at his home Clarence House

The group slept until 6am when William was taken on a tour of the West End to see where many of the young homeless were sleeping.

A St James's Palace spokesman said the trio got little sleep and dozed for short periods during their time in the alleyway.

He added: 'Prince William took away from the experience the importance of tackling all the issues that cause people to be homeless and stay homeless, from drug dependency to mental health problems.'

After touring the West End, the Prince went to Centrepoint's nearby Greek Street centre where he cooked breakfast for a group of young homeless people and chatted with them and staff.


OK. So, Prince William did a little good deed and slept on a hard surface........for one night.
Commendable efforts. But, how can this act really bring any relief to those who rough it every night for months, years?
It is quite unfortunate that the young royals have not taken after their Grandmother, the Queen. Over 80 years old and she continues to work extremely hard.
- Margaret Habib, ANTIGUA

I so admire this young man .. he's a prince!!
I am NOT taking away any of the credit I give him for doing this but it's like these people who re-enact WWI trench life .. it's not the same and doesn't come close and no one who hasn't been through it can possibly understand. However, if it draws attention to the plight of the homeless I say, go to it William.
- alice, quimper, france

Well done your mother would have been so proud of you, so what if you had your protection squad with you, at least you took up the challenge. You will make a great king and leader some day, pity Brown and the rest of the useless bunch in Whitehall dont have the gumption to do the same, but wait they'd charge as a second home for the cardboard, and what no creature comforts.
- Barbara Lownds, Hanworth Middlesex

At least he had the bottle to do it unlike the majority of our politicians, The Solicitor General could not even clean up after her dog at King's Cross station, members of the government regularly use public funds and amenities to ensure their offspring live in comfort and people are having a go at William? Good on you hope you become the peoples monarch soon!
- Hits, London UK

The negative comments by people writing on here are beyond belief! Prince William couldn't win with you lot whatever he did. Why don't some of you try living rough like he did, or you could given a GENEROUS donation to Shelter or other homeless charities. You sound like a bunch of anti royal lefty wingers.
- grumpy old man, Medway K
************************************************** *

A worthy successor to the throne.
- Oliver, Duesseldorf, Germany
Please take note, all you Republicans!!!
- Roger, Carmarthen, West Wales
Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 22nd, 2009 at 01:32 PM..
I wonder if he packed a toothbrush.

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