The Duke of Cambridge headed to a church-run homelessness initiative in Edinburgh on Sunday

By Simon Perry
May 23, 2021 09:15 AM
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Prince William
Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William is keeping one of his mother's causes alive on his third day in Scotland.

The Duke of Cambridge spent part of Sunday morning at a project in Edinburgh centered on homelessness — something that's been at the heart of his public work since 2005, when he became patron of Centrepoint, just like his late mother Princess Diana.

William, 38, headed to a social enterprise called the Grassmarket Community Project, which helps people overcome social exclusion, and tackles social injustice, poverty and inequality in the city.  

The project was developed in partnership with Greyfriars Kirk. The local church is part of the Church of Scotland, which is providing much of the focus of this weekend for William. The royal has also been appointed the Lord High Commissioner at the Church's General Assembly.

During his visit on Sunday, William visited the center's workshop, which makes furniture from recycled church pews as well as other responsibly-resourced wood. There he learned about how the project helps create employment opportunities and apprenticeships for community members. 

Prince William
Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince William
Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince William
Prince William
| Credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

While at that conference on Saturday, William recalled the tragic day of his mother's death, in 1997, when he was vacationing in Scotland with his brother Prince Harry and the royal family. The country, he said, is the "source of some of my happiest memories. But also, my saddest." 

"I was in Balmoral when I was told that my mother had died. Still in shock, I found sanctuary in the service at Crathie Kirk that very morning," he said. "And in the dark days of grief that followed, I found comfort and solace in the Scottish outdoors. As a result, the connection I feel to Scotland will forever run deep."

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Later on Sunday, William – titled the Early of Strathearn in Scotland – is heading to a care home in the city.

Prince William
Prince William
| Credit: JANE BARLOW/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

On Monday, Kate Middleton, 39, will join her husband as they set off on a series of visits over several days. Their trips include a visit to St. Andrews University where they first met and fell in love almost 20 years ago. They will also travel to Orkney, marking the first time they will be there in an official capacity.

When the visits were announced earlier this week, a spokesperson for Kensington Palace said, "The Duke is honoured to be fulfilling the role of Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this year."

"Both he and The Duchess are very much looking forward to spending time in Scotland, hearing from a wide range of people on the issues they care about, and celebrating individuals who have gone above and beyond to support their communities over the past year."