Smiling Prince William poses for photo with reformed ex-convict at Boston youth center as local man who suffered horrific childhood and addiction issues hails ‘sweet, respectful’ Wales’
- Jonathan Williams posed for the snap with William as the Prince of Wales and wife Kate Middleton visited Roca in Boston
- The center works to steer disadvantaged young people away from violence. Williams got a job there after turning his life around
- Also impressed with the royal couple was Matthew Quinton, 24, who overcame an extremely-deprived childhood
- Royal engagements have so-far been a success – despite huge royal racism scandal erupting back in the UK
- Netflix also released bombshell trailer for Harry and Meghan’s upcoming documentary Thursday, which threatened to overshadow Wales’ visit
- Royal Family news LIVE: Kate Middleton and Prince William continue three-day Earthshot tour in Boston
A reformed ex-convict posed for a photo with Prince William as the future king and his wife Princess Kate visited a violence prevention initiative in Boston.
Jonathan Williams, 22, smiled as he stood next to the Prince of Wales as the royal visited the Roca center in Boston’s Chelsea neighborhood on Thursday morning.
The center works to steer disadvantaged young people in Boston away from violence, with Williams’ a prime example of its mission in action.
A Roca spokesperson told DailyMail.com Williams ‘had an awakening and decided he wanted a better life,’ before coming to work at Roca to help steer others away from his former path.
Matthew Quinton, 24, from Chelsea, Massachusetts, also met the Prince and Princess of Wales – and shared the story of his hardship growing up.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘They are very respectful and sweet people. The way they came here and presented themselves. They are just like anybody else.
Prince William posed for a photo with Jonathan Williams at the Roca violence prevention center in Boston Thursday. Williams spent time in prison for attempted robbery, but has since turned his life around, and now works at the center
Wills and Kate also spoke with Matthew Quinton (pictured left, with Jonathan Williams). He endured a very tough upbringing, and hailed the royal couple as ‘very respectful and sweet’
Kensington Palace later shared this sweet snap of the Princess of Wales cuddling a cute child during her trip to Roca
‘They wanted to understand our story and how we got here.’
He said the couple were ‘open-minded’, adding: ‘I told them a bit about myself, what I did before I came here, some of the things I have had to overcome over the years.’
He said the Roca team and young people were at the center from 6am preparing for the visit.
Matthew experienced ‘significant trauma’ in his childhood, was removed from his parents’ custody to live with his grandmother and suffers from PTSD. He previously used drugs and alcohol but has been off both for two years.
He said: ‘I have had a long hard life. I have had to overcome some crazy things. I never really had the right tools and help and guidance.
‘I didn’t want to come here. I didn’t want to take the help.’
The Prince and Princess of Wales listened attentively as a worker at the center explained its mission during Thursday’s visit
The future king and queen have long been interested in mental health and youth charities, with Roca aimed at reducing levels of violence, trauma and incarceration among young people in Boston
Outside the center, hordes of fans waited to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales – including this woman who was clearly-delighted to see the future king
The royal couple sat in a circle of staffers to hear about Roca’s work during Thursday’s trip to the center in Boston’s Chelsea neighborhood
The successful visit to Roca comes during a turbulent week for the royals. Wills’ godmother Lady Susan Hussey was booted from her role as lady in waiting Wednesday after asking a black British charity boss where she was from.
Meanwhile, Netflix released an explosive trailer for Wills’ brother Harry’s upcoming Netflix documentary.
He and Meghan allude to multiple issues with the royal family, with Buckingham Palace braced for yet more damaging allegations when the long-anticipated show is screened next week.
Earlier on Thursday, William and Kate were so charmed by the sight of an eight year-old boy dressed as a Grenadier Guard that they requested to meet the youngster.
Henry Dynov-Teixeira, eight, was whisked behind a security cordon to meet the Prince and Princess of Wales at Greentown Labs in a suburb of the Massachusetts city on Thursday.
He promptly pulled a salute for Wills and Kate, who were evidently charmed by the youngster’s pluck.
Henry donned the costume after becoming obsessed with all-things royal following a trip to Buckingham Palace earlier this year, which included the chance to watch the changing of the guard.
The delighted youngster handed a bouquet of roses to William and Kate, who knelt to shake his hand and exchange words with the little royal superfan.
Henry, who attends the private British School of Boston, told DailyMail.com: ‘First of all it was crazy meeting the prince and princess.
‘It was crazy. I wasn’t actually that nervous now that I think about it when I actually did it.
‘They said “Oh my goodness, thank you so much.” They said they loved the costume, like everybody else.
‘It was like absolutely insane because it was my first time meeting the royal family.’
His mum, Melissa Teixeira, added: ‘That was surreal, that was really spectacular. It was a real experience what a beautiful day in Somerville.
‘I think they were surprised to Henry as a British guard. The Princess is terrific with children of course.
‘She just gave him great compliments and he gave her compliments so it was a really nice experience.
‘Henry did get to mention his visit to London and he asked where George was and she shared that he was in school. She asked if he should be in school and he said yes – and laughed of course.’
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