As he continued his tour of the UK to introduce his new initiative, Homewards, the Prince of Wales grinned as he was informed about his late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, who had a direct approach to fundraising.
On Tuesday, when Prince William visited the East Belfast Mission at the Skainos Center in Northern Ireland, he learned how Prince Philip convinced officials and politicians to fund the structure he was touring by asking them bluntly: “Why don’t you just give them the [expletive] money?”
Rev. Brian Anderson, the center’s board chair, gave the royal father-of-two a tour of the facility.
When the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the former East Belfast Mission Hall in 2008, they were shown the plans for the Skainos Center, the Methodist minister recalled. One of his predecessors explained that it had not yet been built when the monarch questioned why it had not been done.
Prince Philip, according to the Reverend, “just asked [politicians and civil servants], ‘Why don’t you just give them the money?'” Although I won’t say it, there was an expletive in there. And then the money appeared three weeks later.
William smiled as he said to a group of well-wishers who had gathered in the road outside, “The Reverend has been telling me stories about my grandfather,” to which the Reverend responded, “That sounds like my grandfather.”
The Mission manages a variety of assistance programs for all types of people, including the increasing number of homeless people in Belfast, and offers a hostel and housing for those who lack a place to live.
The visit was a part of William’s tour of the UK to introduce Homewards, a five-year program run by The Royal Foundation with local leadership. In order to demonstrate what can be done through a group effort focused on preventing and ending homelessness in their areas, six flagship locations will receive new space, tools, and relationships as part of this initiative, which is expected to take a transformative approach to the problem of homelessness and place collaboration at its core.
William left his engagement in Belfast and traveled to Tillydrone Community Campus in Aberdeen, which was identified as the program’s fifth location.
The Prince unveiled his sixth and final location on Tuesday in Sheffield at Reach Up Youth, where he was joined by footballer and Homewards supporter Tyrone Mings.
On Monday, Geri Horner, a different celebrity supporter and a former Spice Girl, joined William as he launched his project in Lambeth, Bournemouth, and Newport.