Prince William's new patronage has a sweet connection to Princess Diana

By Sarah Walker

Prince William has taken after his late mom, Princess Diana, in many ways, from his natural charm with the public to the close bond he has with his kids. And on Wednesday (Feb. 13), it was revealed that the father of three would take after her in one more way – as royal patron of The Passage, the U.K.'s largest centre for homeless and securely housed people. The new role is one that's near and dear to the Duke's heart, as he regularly visited the charity with his mom before she tragically passed away.

A series of sweet tweets from Kensington Palace confirmed the news, with one of the messages featuring an image of Princes William and Harry visiting the centre with their mother in 1993. Another showcased the organization's visitors book with Diana's dainty signature.

"During His Royal Highness’ visits to The Passage, it has been very clear that he has a deep concern for those affected by homelessness and a real interest in our work," Mick Clarke, chief executive of The Passage, said in a statement released by the palace. "For His Royal Highness to further express his support for The Passage’s work by becoming our Royal Patron is a tremendous honour, and a testament to how much he genuinely cares about this issue."

To mark the news, Prince William spent the day at the charity, helping to prepare and serve food in the organization's kitchen. While serving plates of food, he chatted with volunteers and those who rely on the facilities services. His most recent visit to The Passage was with the Duchess of Cambridge just before Christmas. Then, the duo helped make cards and prepare gifts for families in need.

He showed his fondness for the charity during a visit to the centre in 2016: "The visits I made as a child to this place left a deep and lasting impression upon me – about how important it is to ensure that everyone in our society, especially the poorest, are treated with respect, dignity and kindness, and are given the opportunities to fulfil their potential in life."

The doting father has spent a great deal of time giving back to charitable organizations that his mother worked with. He also works with Centrepoint, a national charity that provides accommodation and support for socially excluded, homeless young people. Diana became patron of this organization in 1992.

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