The charitable side of... Prince William

Indira Das-Gupta

Following in his mother's charitable path won't be easy, but Prince William is taking those all-important first steps.

"I'm not sure what you are after. You want to know about all of Prince William's charitable activities?" The flabbergasted tone of the Buckingham Palace press officer suggests Third Sector has asked for the names and addresses of all his ex-girlfriends, not a list of charities he supports.

"Prince William is involved with many charities - you'd be best off looking at his website," she adds. The site mentions homelessness charity Centrepoint, youth charity Raleigh International, with whom the prince volunteered during his gap year, and Sport Relief, for which he completed a sponsored mile-long run last year.

It's not exactly the exhaustive list of charities we were led to expect, so back to the Palace.

"It's early days and the prince has been balancing a lot of things," explains the press officer, rather irritably. "I think you're probably looking for something that is not there yet."

In September, Centrepoint proudly announced that Prince William had agreed to become its patron, making it his first patronage. Would the charity be a bit more forthcoming?

"He has done a couple of days of work experience here, but his role is still being formulated," explains a spokeswoman. Centrepoint's website, however, reveals the prince has cultivated an interest in homelessness charities since childhood.

It was also recently announced that he will spend a week doing work experience at HSBC, spending time with the charity services team, which advises charities.

More than that HSBC is "not at liberty to say", says a spokesman.

So will Prince William have the impact on charities that Princess Diana did? Possibly, but it's still early days...

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