Prince William made three secret visits to a homeless center in London before Christmas, where he helped pack food and chatted with residents.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, first visited the Passage in 1993 as a young child with his mother Diana, Princess of Wales and has since visited several times both in public and in private.
During his December visits, the royal worked alongside a team of volunteers to prepare hot meals for those who had been moved off the streets and in emergency accommodation.
The father of three, who previously revealed what a “deep and lasting impression” the charity has had on him over the years, also spoke about their experiences to those affected by homelessness.
Prince William volunteered for homeless charity The Passage privately three times before Christmas
William visited the charity’s resource center in Westminster, where he prepared and served meals.
He also spent time in two residential projects – Passage House Assessment Center in Pimlico and Montfort House in Bethnal Green, which caters to clients with complex needs – where he served food and chatted with residents.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for the center; he managed to serve 70,000 meals during the two national closings and hopes William’s visits will act as a much needed publicity boost.
Passage General Manager Mick Clarke said of the visit: “This year, more than ever, our army of volunteers has enabled The Passage to keep our vital services running during times of lockdown and the time in between.
A touching photo from a visit to the center in 1993 shows a young Prince William and Prince Harry posing with their mother, Princess Diana, and a resident
A second image shared by Kensington Palace shows William’s signature alongside that of Princess Diana in the December 1993 guestbook entry
“From our emergency food center to fundraising, from outreach to essential office support, from our Home for Good program to our residential projects, we are extremely fortunate to have such a versatile and engaged group of supporters.
Speaking to The Passage in 2016, the Duke revealed the profound impact the center has had on him.
“The visits that I made as a child to this place left a deep and lasting impression on me,” he said.
“How important it is to ensure that everyone in our society, especially the poorest, are treated with respect, dignity and kindness, and have the opportunity to realize their potential in life.
The Duke of Cambridge had a blast at the Passage last year as he baked carrots in central London’s kitchen
A touching photo from 1993 shows a young Prince William and Prince Harry posing with their mother during a visit to the center.
A second image shared by Kensington Palace shows William’s signature alongside that of Princess Diana in the December guestbook entry.
William has become the leading figure in The Passage, an organization that has helped over 130,000 people in crisis for nearly 40 years through its resource center, homelessness prevention projects and innovative accommodation services. .
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made a final public visit to the center in February, where William rolled up his shirt sleeves to help prepare lunch by chopping vegetables.
The Duke and Duchess during a visit to The Passage in December 2018, where they heard frontline workers talk about some of the challenges of homelessness on the streets, including drug addiction and mental health issues
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and patron of The Passage, welcomed the announcement ahead of the Duke’s visit.
He said: “I know the Duke is deeply committed to working with those who need it most, such as the thousands of people the crossing has helped to get off the streets. “
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also visited the center with cooking legend Mary Berry as part of a special BBC Christmas program in December 2018.