The Prince of Wales is courting politicians, using official audiences with Michael Gove and Sir Keir Starmer to discuss homelessness.
The heir to the throne is preparing to begin a significant homelessness project in the coming weeks, around the time of his 41st birthday.
While the details remain under wraps, the Prince plans to brief several other politicians about it imminently.
As he builds relationships with MPs, his younger brother is doing the opposite by breaking with royal convention and launching an outspoken attack on the Government.
The Duke of Sussex told the High Court judge overseeing his phone-hacking case against Mirror Group Newspapers: “Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our Government, both of which I believe are at rock bottom.”
The Prince and Princess of Wales are understood to have been following developments in the case, although aides insist they are focused on their own work.
An annual audience
William’s homelessness project was the main topic on the agenda when he received Sir Keir at Kensington Palace on Wednesday.
It was the first of what he intended to be an annual audience, following in the footsteps of his father.
When the King was Prince of Wales, he ensured he met the leader of the opposition once a year.
A palace source confirmed the Prince had taken the opportunity to brief the Labour leader about his plans to help the homeless.
It was also a major topic of conversation when both the Prince and Princess of Wales met Mr Gove, the Housing Secretary, at Windsor Castle in May.
Homelessness is one of the Prince’s biggest concerns, along with mental health issues and the environment.
He surreptitiously went out on the streets to sell the Big Issue last year and has been looking into using Duchy of Cornwall properties to house those living on the streets as he seeks to provide practical support.
His mother’s example
The Prince has been involved in helping the homeless since he first visited a shelter with his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, as an 11-year-old schoolboy – a moment that left a “deep and lasting impression”.
He has pledged to emulate his late mother’s example by taking his own three young children to visit charities for the homeless.
Last June, the Prince marked his 40th birthday by throwing his weight behind the Big Issue, with a special edition describing his experience of selling the magazine on the streets.
He delivered slices of homemade cake to Dave Martin, 60, the Big Issue vendor who took him under his wing for a day in Hammersmith, west London, and interviewed him for the publication.
Using Duchy properties
The Prince said he wanted to use his birthday to renew his pledge to do all he could to shed light on the problem of homelessness.
He began looking into using Duchy of Cornwall properties to house the homeless before he inherited the billion-pound business empire, which covers 130,000 acres of land across 20 counties, from his father.
While his father traditionally chaired meetings of the Duchy board twice a year, the Prince has chaired three in the last six months alone, suggesting he might be seeking to implement change.
In April, the Prince told a podcast that measures taken during the Covid pandemic had shown that homelessness could be solved, proving that “where there’s a will there’s a way”.
The charity Shelter said in January that at least 271,000 people – including 123,000 children – were recorded as being homeless in England.
The Prince, who is the patron of youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, will attend the opening of its new development in Peckham, south London, on Tuesday.
It contains 33 modular homes, for which young residents aged between 18 and 24 will pay a maximum one-third of their salary towards rent.