In this image made available by the charity Centrepoint in London, Tuesday Dec. 22, 2009, Britain's Prince William and Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin prepare for a night sleeping rough in freezing temperatures in central London, Tuesday Dec. 15, 2009. (AP Photo/Centrepoint/hand-out)

The prince, right, with Centrepoint's Seyi Obakin. (Centrepoint/AP/hand-out)

By Mark Memmott

Prince William, who one day may be king of England, last week spent a night sleeping outside near a bridge in London in what he says was a bid to better understand the plight of the homeless.

"I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London's streets night after night ..." the 27-year-old son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana says in a statement posted online by Centrepoint, a charity that focuses on the homeless. "I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets."

The Guardian says the prince "bedded down in a sleeping bag next to a group of wheelie bins near Blackfriars bridge."

Centrepoint CEO Seyi Obakin and William's private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, were there as well.

According to Obakin, the temperature dropped below freezing during the night and "0ne of the hairiest moments occurred when we were almost run over by a road sweeper which simply didn't see our small group huddled together, which just goes to show how vulnerable rough sleepers are."

categories: Foreign News

1:05 - December 22, 2009