Dec 23, 2009

The Homeless Prince

Homeless Londoner Rory Stephorse has spent a night sleeping in the luxury of Buckingham Palace, in an event organised by charity Youth Out of the Castles.

Mr Stephorse, an 19-year-old recovering meth addict, volunteered for the experiment, designed to help bring attention to the plight of Britain's young royals.

"I've spent the last two years living rough, mostly under Blackfriars Bridge," said Mr Stephorse. "It can get pretty nippy down there, particularly in these winter months - but that's nothing compared to the frosty life inside the House of Windsor."

Mr Stephorse says the experience deepened his understanding of what level of pampering the Royals have to endure.

"I couldn't even take a crap without some bloke in a penguin suit asking if I wanted the lavender or patchouli-scented bog roll," said Mr Stephorse. "I mean, when a bloke can't wipe his own arse without Jeeves inspecting the troops, it makes you think maybe life on the streets isn't too bad."

Mr Stephorse said the worst part was sitting through the Duke of Edinburgh's Christmas comedy routine.

"For a second I thought I was having an acid flashback, but it turned out Prince Phillip actually was doing an impression of [Britain's Got Talent contestant] Susan Boyle," said Mr Stephorse.

"I f***ing wished I'd been dreaming a dream at that point."

The event was organised by Youth Out of the Castles patron Sarah Ferguson. A former Duchess of York, Ms Ferguson knows only too well the downward cycle that affects the heirs of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

"At first I loved the royal lifestyle - the parties, the fame, the money. But the pressure of constantly being compared to Princess Diana was far too much," she said.

"Is it any wonder I rebelled, and turned to American toe-suckers, Weight Watchers, and writing children's books?" she said. "More people need to realise just what Royals suffer, particularly the young ones."

Mr Stephorse agreed the constant presence of the paparazzi was a heavy price to pay for clean sheets and a diamond-encrusted chamberpot.

"Every time I nipped out of Buck House to have a quiet smoke, the Fleet Street mob was on me," he said.

"I realised sleeping with one eye open to make sure I could knife any crack-addicted former City accountants who try to steal my shopping trolley was more fun than listening to another sleazy Cockney photographer ask when I was going to set a date with Kate bloody Middleton."

Youth Out of the Castles organisers confirmed a "small element of security" remained near Mr Stephorse during his time in the Palace.

"Gawd, can you imagine if I hadn't had Madfish Bob and the bloke who wears underpants on the outside of his pants with me?" said a relieved Mr Stephorse, back in his Blackfriars Bridge shanty.

"I don't know how I would've been able to refuse Prince Harry's invitation to that fancy dress party."

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