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Prince William surprised by Paul Gascoigne as he returns to royal duties

The Prince of Wales travelled to Bournemouth

Prince William was surprised by Paul Gascoigne
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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The Prince of Wales was surprised by England football legend Paul "Gazza" Gascoigne as he visited a branch of Pret A Manger in Bournemouth on Thursday.

Prince William, 41, took the train to the coastal town to meet with local and national businesses, all of whom have pledged their support to his Homewards initiative, which aims to end homelessness for good.

In his first public outing since his summer break, the Prince heard about the food chain's commitment to expand its Rising Stars programme.

As William chatted with customer and newly announced Homewards advocate, entrepreneur and podcaster, Steven Bartlett, local resident Gazza popped in to say hello. See their warm exchange in the clip below…

WATCH: Prince William surprised by Paul Gascoigne in Bournemouth

ormer Spurs and Rangers legend Gazza said afterwards: "I've met [William] a couple of times and met him at Wembley [Euro 2020 semi finals], he loves his football. I climbed over a few chairs to talk to him and gave him a peck on the cheek.

"I came past Pret and someone said William was there so I saw him and gave another peck on the cheek.

"He's a good looking guy. He said 'I even got a kiss'. He said he has been watching us from afar. I help the homeless here in Bournemouth, I often give them ciggies and sandwiches."

Over the next five years, The Pret Foundation's Rising Stars programme, which helps break the cycle of homelessness by providing support, training and employment, will see a 40 per cent expansion, supporting at least 500 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness into jobs at Pret's UK  shops, including in Homewards flagship locations where Pret has a presence.

William and Gazza shake hands, Bournemouth© Getty
William and Gazza shake hands

Pano Christou, CEO, Pret A Manger and Trustee of The Pret Foundation, said: "Since we started The Pret Foundation almost 30 years ago, we’ve worked hard to give people facing homelessness vital  support, training and employment opportunities, including through our Rising Stars programme.

"But no one can fix this problem alone. That's why we’re so proud and honoured to be working with Homewards  and His Royal Highness to take Rising Stars even further. We will continue to do everything we can as a business to help tackle this issue and give people new opportunities wherever we can."

William also visited AFC Bournemouth's Vitality Stadium to hear about the Club's ongoing work  in the community to support those at risk of homelessness, and commitment to expanding their projects  as part of Homewards.

The Prince launched his Homewards initiative in June, when he visited six locations across the UK, which are implementing the programme.

William helped out in the kitchen at Pret, Bournemouth© Getty
William helped out in the kitchen at Pret

William and wife Kate spent the summer at their Norfolk residence, Anmer Hall, with their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The Princess was spotted at the nearby Houghton Festival, while William cheered on the Lionesses at the Women's World Cup in a video message with Princess Charlotte.

Prince William greets crowd outside Pret A Manger, Bournemouth© Getty
A crowd gathered outside Pret in Bournemouth

In the final weeks of the holidays, the Waleses joined King Charles and Queen Camilla at Balmoral in Scotland, with William and Kate pictured driving to a church service at Crathie Kirk.

William's brother, the Duke of Sussex, will make his first appearance in the UK since June as he attends the WellChild Awards in London.

The royal brothers were last seen together at King Charles's coronation back in May.

Ahead of the first anniversary of the late Queen Elizabeth II's passing, HELLO! takes a look back at the past year, with guests including broadcaster and writer, Gyles Brandreth, and photographer Julian Calder on the new season of A Right Royal Podcast. Listen here...

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