Prince William reunites with former homeless girl to talk about Prince George, Christmas and more

By Ainhoa Barcelona

'Tis the season for giving, and Prince William has done just that, reuniting with a former homeless girl he met a few years ago and keeping his promise to do an interview with her. As a patron of Centrepoint, the prince first met Sophia Kichou when she was staying at one of the charity's hostels, and now he's made her dream come true in a chat for The Big Issue.

During their first meeting, Sophia told William that she hoped to become a journalist and he agreed that one day she could interview him.

At the age of 18, Sophia was forced to move out of her house after it became dangerous living with her alcoholic father and she ended up homeless on the streets. Sophia's mother died when she was a little girl.

TAP TO VIEW GALLERY Sophia Kichou, a journalism student, became homeless when she was 18.

Determined to change her circumstances, the young woman turned to Centrepoint for help and, with its support, she was admitted to college and went on to study journalism at City University. Last month, she was awarded the Centrepoint Media Award for her skills in journalism by Prince William.

The royal father of two then invited Sophia, who is in her final year, to conduct the interview at Kensington Palace, something she called "a very significant moment" in her career.

"If I get any sleep on Christmas Eve it'll be good," joked William, speaking about his "bouncy" son Prince George.

"At the beginning, I was a little nervous but as the interview went on, my nerves calmed down and I began to enjoy it," she said. "I am very grateful to everyone who helped make this happen."

Sophia, 24, asked William about his plans for Christmas with his wife, Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and why Centrepoint is a charity so close to his heart.

"George will be bouncing around like a rabbit," said William, speaking about his son, who turned two this year.

"I think he will be extremely bouncy this year because he's suddenly worked out what Christmas is all about. If I get any sleep on Christmas Eve it'll be good.

"We'll go to church as a family on Christmas Day, as we always do. Then we'll watch George try to tackle his presents as he tries to unwrap them. It's a very different experience at Christmas, having a family of your own."

TAP TO SEE FULL GALLERY"We'll go to church as a family on Christmas Day," said the prince. "Then we'll watch George try to tackle his presents."

William, 33, also explained that as a young boy, he would accompany his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales on visits to hostels for homeless people. He became a patron for the charity in 2005.

"I think it goes back to when my mother first took the role when I was a small boy. I was very struck by the people I met and what they were struggling with – sleeping rough, sofa surfing, not having basic comforts a lot of us take for granted," said William.

"That really struck me at a young age, bearing in mind the gulf for me growing up in a palace and seeing the other end of the spectrum. That was powerful to see at a young age. In today's western world, with all the advancements and privileges we have, the fact some people don't have a bed or a roof over their head is quite ridiculous."

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