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Last Updated: Tuesday December 22 2009 16:02 GMT

Prince William sleeps on streets

Prince William with Seyi Obakin, who's head of the Centrepoint charity

Prince William has spent a night sleeping on the streets of London to see what it's like to be homeless.

The royal tried to snooze in a sleeping bag next to wheelie bins under a bridge last week, in an event organised by the Centrepoint charity for the homeless.

The prince said he hoped it would help to raise awareness of homelessness.

"I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London's streets night after night," he said.

"I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets."

Prince William cooking breakfast for some of London's homeless (Pic from: Ian Jones/Hello Magazine/PA Wire)
Prince William cooking breakfast for homeless people in London

Centrepoint boss Seyi Obakin joined Prince William on the streets and said the worst moment came when they were almost run over by a road sweeper.

"For me, it was a scary experience," he said. "Out of my comfortable bed. Out there in the elements. Out there on an extremely cold night, with temperatures down to -4C.

"And it was the same for Prince William. But he was determined to do it as patron in order to raise awareness of the problem and to be able to understand a little better what rough sleepers go through night after night."

After spending a night on the streets, the prince visited one of the Centrepoint centres to cook breakfast for a group of young homeless people.