Prince William covers The Big Issue & explains why he did that vendor stunt

A few weeks ago, Prince William did some poverty tourism. His people organized a stunt – William dressed up like a vendor who sells The Big Issue on the street. The Big Issue is a publication sold by unhoused people as a job. William cosplayed one of them and KP organized some “tourists” and “regular folks” to notice him and provide sugary quotes to various newspapers about how keen and normal William seems. Because William wanted to milk his stunt for all its worth, he appears on the cover of the latest issue of The Big Issue.

There’s one article about how William stood out on the street for about ten minutes before people began recognizing him – blah, whatever. But William also “wrote” a first-person essay about why he wanted to pull this stunt:

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.  The Big Issue had launched just two years before, offering people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income by selling a magazine to the public and providing a solution to the issues that saw a growing number of people on the streets of the nation’s capital. 

 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. New initiatives have been launched up and down the country – some have worked, some have not. But The Big Issue, perhaps now the most immediately recognisable of these organisations, has undeniably had an impact. Its social business model has provided a means of making a living to 105,000 vendors who have earned over £144 million.

Looking back helps us to see how far we’ve come, but problems are fixed in the present. And despite all the progress, homelessness is still seen by many as some entrenched phenomenon over which we have little power. And there are worrying signs that things might soon get worse as people feel the effects of higher prices and find it harder to make ends meet.  And although we can’t fix all of that at once, 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.

I wanted to experience the other side and see what it was like to be a Big Issue vendor. My time was truly eye opening. I was lucky to join Dave on a warm, sunny day in June. 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 – including through the bleak winter months – and are barely given a second glance by passers-by. 

A hardworking, funny, joyful man, Dave is the kind of person we should all be actively encouraging and supporting. Instead, people often just ignore him. And 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.

[From The Big Issue]

“A hardworking, funny, joyful man, Dave is the kind of person we should all be actively encouraging and supporting. Instead, people often just ignore him.” Why do I feel like William was actually talking about himself. This is a man whose PR consists of being “the other brother” and spending all of his 40th birthday capital talking about his brother. I mean… people often just ignore William too. He is the same as Dave! Except William just got his fourth home and he wants bonus credit for standing on the street like a peasant for an hour.

Cover courtesy of The Big Issue, additional photo courtesy of social media.

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67 Responses to “Prince William covers The Big Issue & explains why he did that vendor stunt”

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  1. Lucylee says:

    Publicity stunt.

    • PaulaH says:

      So much hypocrisy and full-on self-promotion from Mr. Burns

      • GreenT says:

        Look at all the Keen Bots on Twitter. Yet he can’t post a Bday pic on social media because he want get the likes

    • PEARL GREY says:

      Publicity stunt? Now, now. Surely a hugely wealthy man who is about to acquire his fourth home and is in the midst of a long-running stint of negative commentary is just the right person to become the empathetic face of the homelessness awareness campaign, just in time for his milestone birthday. How cynical you all are!

      • dina says:


      • ThatsNotOkay says:

        “I refuse to believe that homelessness is an irrevocable fact of life. It is an issue that can be solved” by my donating the bulk of the land my family stole and giving up palaces and quadruple homes in order to finance the needs of the common man and mentally ill. But I ain’t about to do that, ‘chall! Solve it yourselves!

      • C says:

        LOL ThatsNotOkay

    • goofpuff says:

      No way he wrote that. William was never that intelligent. He didn’t even have to show up or do any work to automatically pass all his classes.

      • WHAT says:

        So now William wants to have homelessness be his big initiative. So what’s the issue? Is earthshot a publicity stunt? Why roll out that then when it flops or you can’t get the response that you so desperately need- let’s move forward with homelessness and make sure to put your Mom’s name on it. To get that extra emotion of going down the path of Diana. William has seen the response from the birthday messages or someone from his staff told him that he needs to come up with something else cause it’s not good.

        Yet, noone focuses on the new communications person and the former bafta lady joining the team to do things the Cambridge way. How’s all of that working out😉

      • Lorelei says:

        My favorite part of Bill’s whole rollout about how homelessness is his new “thing” recently was how he went on and on about it, and then the very last sentence— and I’m paraphrasing— was something like, “but to be clear, none of the BRF/Duchy properties will actually be used to *house* homeless people.”

        I’m so annoyed that I can’t find the exact quote or where I read it because it was so absurd it was comical. It read like something Michael Scott came up with.
        This whole grand plan with noble intentions, but then at the end, “NIMBY, lol!”

    • Moxylady says:

      So it’s incumbent on the average citizens facing those same issues – rising prices and child care costs Ans heating costs – to buy the magazine to help Dave make a living. But not on the billionaire/ millionaires that the tax payers support.
      Cool cool cool.

  2. C says:

    Homelessness will never be solved when feckless do-nothings like William have 4 immense homes at a time.

  3. Noki says:


  4. VoominVava says:

    BLAH blah. I wonder if he got that woman’s phone number.. for research.
    I doubt he was even out there for an hour. He works 9 to 9:30, max.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think that’s the Russian lawyer.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Her Instagram is on the original post. She’s just a person. Not a known mistress.
        Interestingly enough. A paper did leap and say she was some random exchange student from another country which was wrong in blind defense of it potentially being svetlana.

      • C says:

        Apparently she’s actually Lithuanian and her name is Laura Michalkevic-Zuikauske, this photo is on her Instagram (although I’ll take that with a grain of salt, lol).
        That said, she looks REMARKABLY similar to Svetlana Ignatieva who is the rumored Russian lawyer he’s in love with.

      • Becks1 says:

        Ah okay, I definitely thought it was Svetlana, the resemblance is kind of uncanny!

      • L84Tea says:

        Whoa, I had no idea the alleged lawyer had a name! Running to google…

      • OriginalMich says:

        OMG. This is the first I’m hearing about the Russian lawyer! I want to know more!!

      • Laura D says:

        And me OriginalMich. I thought his first love was Roses.

      • Becks1 says:

        Its something that’s been rumored for a while -first I had just heard that there was a lawyer, and then I think someone said its a russian lawyer and I think its supposedly Svetlana. All just rumor of course but its been something that’s persisted for about the past year or so.

      • HeyJude says:

        A Russian cozying up to a Prince is not a mistake. We have to assume the worst of that given the state of Russian nowadays, William got honey potted.

        No wonder he’s raging out of control and trying to whip up hysteria about Harry and Meghan. (And no wonder he’s got Russian bot networks and right-wingers with connections to Russian money also on his side online.) He’s in deep. The future King is compromised.

      • Harper says:

        Svetlana is not a lawyer though. She’s an accountant who switched to the environmental field. I do think she is close to William through that Flora and Fauna org that he’s a patron of. She may be the inspiration behind Earthshot. She seems to be the blonde woman in the car with him leaving that party in Dec. that the Fail posted the pics from.

        I remember that some CB poster either saw William and the lawyer together, or had a friend who saw them together. But it was a confirmed sighting. Knowing this is William we are talking about, he may be hanging with both Svetlana and the London Lawyer.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Harper, okay that makes sense. So there is a lawyer and she may be Russian and Svetlana is Russian but not a lawyer so who knows lol.

        And I think it was either the Hench or Andrew’s Nemesis, or both, who confirmed the rumor about the lawyer.

      • Brassy Rebel says:


    • Noki says:

      I know things may not always be as they seem, but dont you wonder how people who dont have 95% of the worry and troubles that most people have are so damn passionless. I mean if i never had to worry about my sons school fees, my rent, my gas, my other expenses the way i would have been of so much service in one way or another. These people are shocking, how empty!But who knows maybe when you have too much in life nothing moves you.

    • usavgjoe says:


  5. Brassy Rebel says:

    He was so convincing as a homeless person wearing that giant Rolex!

    • PaulaH says:

      Followed by Netfixit (not Netflix because seriously Netflix wouldn’t waste time on Baldy) cameras

  6. Geegee says:

    God the stunting is just offensive. How is that 4th taxpayer funded house working out for you Willnot? Family got enough room now? Hope your big taxpayer funded birthday party is fun…..while people starve. Abolish the monarchy

  7. Dorcas says:

    At 40 he kind of looks like a worn out retired rail worker. He got the face he deserves.

    • Beverley says:

      Ugh. He’s not a handsome man.

      • Laura D says:

        I don’t care about his looks. I’m more concerned that he’s not a very nice man. William will some day rule a multi-cultural society, and given what we know about him he’ll only have time for those who “look like him”.

      • Becks1 says:

        I think we find him so unattractive here because we think he’s an ahole. Like I think he’s someone who you can just look at and think “he’s an entitled ahole” and it makes him not attractive. I find Harry more attractive now than I ever did because I think he’s a good person. Personality really does come out in your looks sometimes.

  8. Lamaitresse says:

    Wonderful, what a patronizing and ridiculous piece of Will fluff. No one is buying that Prince Douchebag is the “kind and caring” sort, not even if it’s front and centre of the Big Issue.

  9. Wiglet Watcher says:

    He lacks so much. All William is are poorly formed sentences about how others should care and do more. Not him.

  10. Becks1 says:

    his time was “truly eye opening?” Because he’s the FFK who sold a magazine for an hour on a pretty day?

  11. Kels says:

    It’s amazing that even the racists at the DF can see through this PR stunt lol. He’s being COOKED in the comments.
    I’m glad a lot more people can see through it despite the protection from the media and rota. Smh

    • UnstrungPearl says:

      I saw that too! His PR is just so bad. Loads of comments saying it’s a stunt and why isn’t he donating one of his 4 houses to homeless people. He can’t have it both ways.
      At the very least I hope all the supposed W&K fans actually buy the big issue, not just post online :/

  12. equality says:

    144 mil spread out over 105,000 vendors isn’t earning a living. And is that covering 29 years or means this year or what?

    • Charm says:

      One has to wonder if that figure is gross income over the entire existence of the mag/business……is it an advt medium or does revenues come only from sales of the mag? If the latter, can you imagine the pittance the homeless vendors have received each pay period, after management & overheads, etc, get their share taken out.


  13. UNCDancer says:

    I hope The Big Issue got a huge donation for their willingness to be part of the stunt. Although I suppose if they had, these dummies would say it … implications be damned.

  14. Laura D says:

    I’ve been waiting for this one to drop as I want to rant about how he had a film crew with him! We were originally told this was done undercover and it only came to a stop because a “passer-by” recognised him!

    Can you imagine the melt down if that had been Harry and Meghan? The whole of the Jubilee was dominated by the fears that Netflix were going to somehow secretly film the jubilee. There were even conspiracies that Meghan was wearing a wire! Yet, William can “secretly” film himself selling the Big Issue and not a word is said. I’m still angry with myself for giving him the benefit of the doubt but, the film crew further supports the argument that this was all a PR stunt. Shame on me! 😥

    • Charm says:

      Both bulliam and cowmilla hv been co-operating with the media, with cameras following them around, for their respective birthday specials all happening at this moment. Cowmilla has hers with dailyFAIL and BritishVogue.

      But true to the M-O of the BRF, they throw out a redherring, trying to implicate the Sussexes by spreading the lie that it is they, H&M, who had cameras following them around for the jubbly.

  15. OriginalMich says:

    A big problem for Humble Bill is that it is well known that he is a spoiled, hateful right wing jackass. These stunts will always come across as hollow and self-serving because of that.

  16. Mariam says:

    Why cant this man get his teeth clean its so yellow.

  17. Beverley says:

    Willnot is like, See it’s not true that I don’t work, I work hard. I hug peasants…just like Harry.

  18. Well Wisher says:

    Happy Birthday William!!

    He has managed to squandered all the attention via limelight and spotlight due to this important milestone.
    Bill has nothing to add to the public discourse but have a constant need to be seen and heard.

    This nothingness is tediously.

    Interestingly enough should he ever decide to be silent, they have his kryptonite – the blond in the pic.
    He seem to think that he can say one thing and do another without the public noticing.
    His thirst for power is alarming, since he has squandered his allotted soft power in a malicious attempt to destroy his “beloved” brother.
    Bill refuses to take responsibility, much less learn from his mistakes.
    He is too comfortable making bad decisions and blaming others for said decisions.
    He has no respect for his father nor his grandmother, he publicly campaigned for a fourth 🏡, then announced that he will move to Adelaide Cottage. Lacking is the proper protocol, whereby BP will make the formal announcement.
    He has chosen a home ten minutes from his brother’s leased cottage.
    The very brother that he hates.
    The brother that he has an unhealthy obsession to control.
    There is not need to mention, his weird marriage and his complicity in becoming a Middleton puppet.
    I wish him self-knowledge, the courage to grow and embrace life with all its messiness.
    It is important to note that unremarkable individuals can be transformed to greatness as they rise to meet the challenges of their particular situation, if this is untenable, at least I send healing energy to William’s well being.

  19. Lady Digby says:

    Are these recent stunts cooked up between Chilly Willy and his new PR because they are Steisanding his complete out of touchiness with everyday life? They are just stunts that make you cringe not think this wealthy dude with 4 homes and countless toilets cares about the poor and homeless. I will add that Chilly shows a lot more attentiveness to the woman in the photo then he has done to his own wife in the past year.

  20. Noor says:

    It would be nice to know what William has actually achieved for the homeless in the past 30 years beside raising awareness.

    Is William somewhat copying Meghan footstep. Remember Meghan launched the 40x 40 mentorship for her 40th birthday. So instead of just releasing a formal photos like Kate, he showcased himself selling The Big Issue.

  21. First comment says:

    What happened to earthshot? Has he successfully solved the climate crisis with his initiative, therefore, from now on, he focuses on “homelessness awareness”? Or people didn’t shallow his so called interest in the environment, saw his hypocrisy and he decided to change goal? I’m not sure he would be very successful either in this cause, however worthwhile… he gives the impression of a spoiled child who gets easily bored with whatever attracts his interest for a while and he wants constant changes and attention.

    • Beach Dreams says:

      I think Earthshot is temporarily being ignored in these PR pieces because of the recent revelation that Boris Johnson was inquiring about a job for Carrie there before they got married. That was just revealed yesterday but I’m certain the media was aware for much longer.

  22. HeyJude says:

    William loves his poverty tourism. I remember the time he coplayed being homeless and slept rough for a night as a PR stunt.

  23. Harper says:

    This pivot to homelessness as his birthday issue is BONKERS. I feel it just came out of the blue. Earthshot must be off sobbing in the corner at being dropped like a hot potato for the homeless.

    And it was clearly a coordinated campaign: The Big Issue cover, the fakety-fake-fake donning of the red vest complete with the humble man on the street publicity angle, yet at the same time being filmed, photographed and immediately tweeted out to the world. Rebecca English was clearly fed a “William cares about the homeless” angle for her profile in the Fail.

    It’s this inane, inauthentic, completely transparent and superficial adoption of social causes that must make Diana roll her eyes from up above. It’s easy to look back over Burger King’s activities for the past two years and see that homelessness is not up there. There is some criticism about his 40th birthday push being all about Harry and Meghan but at least that is a direct reflection of who Burger King has been for the past five years. His legacy is pushing his brother and his family out of the country and whining and complaining and explaining about how awful they are.

  24. Penelope says:

    Wait—his mother’s “inimitable style”?! Shade! (Obviously not intentional but, oh, the irony.)

  25. Cerys says:

    It’s easy to waffle on about helping the homeless etc from the ivory towers of your tax payer funded castles.
    The only thing I will say in favour of William on his 40th is that he hasn’t released some awful airbrushed portraits of himself.

  26. Vivian says:

    Has anyone in the British press covering this stunt even asked the question of how much money per month “Dave” makes selling homelessness newspapers on the street and then compared it to actual rents and expenses to live? Does Dave actually pay rent on a real home doing this? This kind of background investigation is what any real journalist would do as part of covering this story, or the royal foundation in general. I teach journalism and give student’s assignments about how to report a story. You always go beyond the public claims and get to the bottom of what they actually are doing– or not. Making light of these huge social issues and suggesting that people effected by them can simply change them at will through their own personal choices (no major political intervention or funding needed here) obscures what is really needed. The idea that William can make a dent in homelessness and remain scrupulously “non-political” is obviously rediculous.

  27. Amy Bee says:

    As many said at the time, this was a publicity stunt. KP released a video of William pretending to be a Big Issue vendor yesterday which confirms this. I have come to the conclusion that William would not be highlighting homelessness for his 40th birthday if Meghan hadn’t done the 40×40 mentorship initiative for hers. William would have been better off making some donations to celebrate his 40th birthday instead.

  28. tamsin says:

    What exactly is William going to do to alleviate the problem of homelessness aside from giving himself a PR event? The whole essay sounds so patronizing. Can we get at some of the underlying issues? That’s what seems so frustrating about these attempts. They waffle in a sea of nothingness.

  29. Lorelei says:

    Wait! Hold UP. When the “Cambridges moving to Windsor” rumors/stories first started, months and months ago, weren’t we specifically told that “overlooked” has a completely different meaning in Britain, and that when W&K said they felt “overlooked” in KP, they meant that too many people were able to see them, and they didn’t have enough privacy?

    But in the very first sentence of Bill’s “personal essay” here, he uses “overlooked” in the exact way we all thought it meant in the first place— akin to ignored. So which is it? Hopefully some of our British commenters can weigh in because this discrepancy is going to annoy me now!

  30. Murekatete says:

    He isn’t even coming to Rwanda for CHOGM. He won’t come here. Why not? I live here (I’m American) and he would be welcomed. Why not come to a place that would be kind, and respectful? I really wonder about him because he isn’t coming. He should be.