On these coldest of nights, as I trekked the streets, offering whatever help I could to the homeless, I encountered the array of complex and confusing social, emotional and personal life stories that comprise London's cardboard sleepers.
The extremes of courage, depravity, hope and resignation, all tumbled into the unpredictable reality that the Prince found, almost being mangled by a street cleaning machine.
Susan ( name changed ) was the saddest. After years of abuse in childhood and local authority care homes she had spent 15 years on the homeless circuit. Her body was wasted, her teeth gone, her skin sore covered and heading towards that horrific statistic that the average life expectancy of a rough sleeper is 45.
She was desperate for food and a warm drink and we made our way along the strand towards Macdonalds. Every so often she would spy a discarded but of a cigarrette, still glowing and retrieve it for the last few puffs.
Christmas, in the bleak mid winter. We must remember that the babe is still homeless.