Amidst the urban landscape of Manchester's Moss Side, Prince William found himself under the scrutiny of 11-year-old Amir Hassan. The inquisitive lad, brimming with audacity, probed the royal scion regarding his personal affluence during the Prince of Wales' visit to the city on a Thursday.
The purpose of William's presence in Manchester extended beyond mere royal formality. His agenda entailed familiarizing himself with a project combatting youth violence, a collaborative effort involving both the Royal Foundation and the personal office of Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester. A substantial sum of £50,000 from each entity was contributed to support the initiative, overseen by the Manchester Peace Together Alliance.
Embarking on a visit to the Hideaway Youth Project, the heir to the throne engaged with volunteers and young minds, including the aforementioned Amir, who was engrossed in a collaborative artistic endeavor with fellow schoolmates.
In the course of their dialogue, Amir brazenly queried William about the contents of the royal's financial reservoir, prompting laughter from the Prince. Amir later recounted the response, asserting that William “remained oblivious.”
The prince, not confined to weighty matters, observed volunteers crafting hairstyles deemed empowering and positive. When playfully invited to participate, the 41-year-old jested, “I'm truly the last individual you should approach. My hair is vanishing.”
William encountered a minor challenge when he ventured into a game of pool before an audience, drawing audible groans as he faltered in sinking a yellow ball on two occasions.
However, the royal's visit wasn't all lighthearted encounters. He empathetically sat down with mothers who had tragically lost their children to violence. Audrey Preston, aged 57, who lost her 21-year-old son three years prior, expressed the significance of William's visit to Moss Side: “When I learned he was coming, I thought, ‘Why would he want to listen to me?' Lots of kids are lost to violence here, and the families are often left to their own devices. His visit is truly beneficial for the community.”
Post his engagement at the Hideaway Youth Project, William fulfilled a personal commitment by making a detour to the Moss Side Millennium Powerhouse, following an invitation from Wendy Simms. The prince, in a gesture of generosity, brought a diverse assortment of culturally significant foods for Wendy, who had connected with him at a garden party in May.
Wendy's association with the Keeping It Real food bank garnered her invitations to garden parties. The prince's contribution included items such as yams and dragonfruit, emblematic of Jamaican culinary traditions.
The father of three traversed the facility, interacting with staff and volunteers before immersing himself in the kitchen. There, he lent a hand in preparing a fish stew, paired with the Jamaican specialty known as Saturday Soup.
Concluding his visit, William paid respects at Jessie's Wall, a memorial honoring Jessie James, who succumbed to gunfire in 2006 at the age of 15. The royal engaged with Jessie's mother Barbara Reid, sister Rosemary Reid, aunt Millicent Henry, and family friend Hilary Charlesworth.
Following a heartfelt address by Barbara, William departed, extending handshakes and capturing moments in selfies with the gathered crowds.