Prince William: My earliest memory is my mother taking me to a homeless shelter

Alix Culbertson, News Reporter

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of his memories of visiting homeless shelters with his mother, Princess Diana, as a child.

Prince William, sporting his new buzzcut, said some of his earliest memories are of his parents showing him he would grow up to have responsibilities and that he was privileged.

Speaking at the Charity Commission's annual public meeting in central London, he said: "Some of my earliest memories relate to times that my parents spoke to me - or even better, showed me - what it meant to have both privilege and responsibilities.

"I remember being taken by my mother to a homelessness shelter at a young age, her explaining to me why the people I met there matter, why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously."

As well as paying tribute to his mother, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, the Prince, who is second in line to the throne, spoke about his father, the Prince of Wales.

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"From my father, I learned how central charity was to his life his sense of purpose," he said. "The Prince's Trust is not an arms-length organisation for my father.

"He cares deeply about The Prince's Trust because it is a living projection of his values."

Praising the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's commitment to charities, he said his family did not support good causes because "it looks good" but because "charity is not an optional extra in society".

While William was speaking at the Charity Commission, the Duchess of Cambridge was launching a website aimed at helping teachers to avoid giving bad mental health advice.

Kate joined Year Three pupils at the Roe Green Junior School in Brent, northwest London, before speaking to teachers about the initiative.

The Duchess, who is six months pregnant, was wearing a royal blue dress by her favourite maternity outfitter, Seraphine, with a tanzanite pendant necklace and earrings made by jewellers G Collins and Sons.

She said the pilot scheme, funded by the Royal Foundation, had been launched in 50 schools.

"I am so excited to see where this work will take us in the future," she told teachers and parents.

The website is the next step on from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's Heads Together campaign, encouraging people to speak about their mental health problems.