Prince William admits he'd 'like to be 21 again' as he pledges to 'do a lot more' for homeless ahead of 40th birthday

Prince William joked he would “like to be 21 again” as spoke candidly about raising money for the homeless on the eve of his 40th birthday

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The Duke of Cambridge was recently pictured selling The Big Issue in London.

He sported a red seller’s vest, a baseball cap and held a bundle of magazines.

William’s appearance sparked a frenzy online, with one stunned onlooker noting: “Quite mad given the normal security he has – apparently he spent the day out.”

And now William, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Tuesday, has opened up about how and why he gets involved in raising money for the homeless.

Prince William selling copies of the Big Issue
Prince William selling copies of the Big Issue
Prince William with Big Issue vendor Dave Martin
Prince William with Big Issue vendor Dave Martin

The Duke sat down in conversation with vendor Dave Martin, with whom he had spent the afternoon on the capital's streets.

After their afternoon selling magazines, the two headed to The Passage – a support centre Princess Diana famously took William and Prince Harry to in 1993.

Asked about the day, William said: “I really enjoyed it. I could have spent many more hours out there with you.

“The Big Issue is something that’s been around for a long time. It is part of UK history.

“I think at times it’s had peaks and troughs in terms of its visibility. People don’t know enough about it.

“The fact that we’ve been through a pandemic, and realising what that’s done for The Big Issue, but also for homelessness, how much that’s troubled everything.”

William then reminisced about his mum, saying homelessness has “stuck with him as an issue” ever since Diana took him to The Passage.

He also noted his surprise at being recognised, having believed the red baseball cap would make “nobody pay attention”.

He told The Big Issue: “I was surprised how many people actually spotted me wearing a Big Issue tabard standing outside Sainsbury’s.

“I can walk down the street with a baseball cap on and nobody would pay attention.

“But everyone was really friendly, weren’t they? I’m conscious that I got the easy version in the summer sunshine.”

Prince William celebrates his birthday on Tuesday
Prince William celebrates his birthday on Tuesday

Asked if he would have made the effort if it was raining, he said: “I’d have still come out, don’t worry.

“Ever since I came here [to The Passage] with my mother, homelessness has stuck with me as an issue I want to fight for.

“I’ve done everything I can to raise the profile of the homeless, and I want to do a lot more.”

Finally Mr Martin noted that William’s birthday is looming, to which the future king replied: “I’d like to be 21 again, Dave. The big four-zero. Getting on a bit now.”