Hot on the heels of the outrage surrounding the former prime minister* being made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, an appointment personally made by the Queen, another member of the royal family shows how out of touch he is with his fellow countrymen.
Prince William (The Duke of Cambridge) is the second in line to the throne and the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.
During a visit to a Leeds hotel last November to meet some of the Afghan refugees ‘rescued by Britain’, he is reported to have told them they ‘couldn’t be more welcome’ in Britain, adding: ‘The most important thing is that you are safe now. You have a bright future.’
He is also reported to have said he wished we could have brought more people to the UK and he asked refugees and volunteers why it was taking so long to find permanent homes for the 15,000 Afghans who were evacuated to the UK in August.
Prince William travelled to Leeds today to celebrate diverse communities across the region who have come together to welcome and support Afghan refugees. The Duke of Cambridge started his visit at a hotel where the refugees are being housed. There, he heard how some of the refugees were given only hours, and sometimes minutes warning to leave their homes, jobs and families.
In December, more than 200,000 families and individuals in England alone were experiencing the worst forms of homelessness. Many people already living with financial pressures made worse by the coronavirus pandemic have been pushed over the brink into homelessness and are finding themselves sleeping on the streets, hunkered down in sheds and garages, stuck in unsuitable accommodation or sofa surfing.
The Royal British Legion estimates there are 6,000 homeless veterans in the UK, and while the number of veterans sleeping rough isn’t 100% clear, most estimates place the figure at around 3% to 4% of the rough sleeping population.
According to Sir Andrew Gregory, chief executive of forces charity SSAFA, the issues facing veterans often stem from difficulties in adapting to civilian life after years spent with a regimented lifestyle where many day-to-day tasks are already taken care of. This can then result in the “eight Ds”: drink, debt, drugs, divorce, depression, domestic violence, dependency culture, and “digs”, meaning accommodation.
Online forums were full of negative comments about the out-of-touch Prince. The following comments from The Mail online were typical:
“If you are that frustrated Willie, why don’t you tell your grandma to move on over and let them stay in the 775 rooms in Buckingham palace, most of the country doesn’t want any more so do your thing and put them up yourself” – James – Grays, Essex.
“I can’t imagine several boat loads of the dangerous freeloaders being put up in your castle using the Royal doctors can you William?” – Scott la Rock, Preston
Whilst we do not know for certain which hotel the Prince visited, we are almost certain it was one of the many visited by British Movement activists late last year. The reaction from passers-by to our demo’s overwhelmingly backed the BM stance and was at odds with the future King’s views.
*The online petition to strip Anthony Charles Lynton Blair of his knighthood has now reached over 640,00 signatures.
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