UK in Tizzy Over Homeless People and the Royal Wedding

Borough council leader Simon Dudley wants to 'clean up' Windsor's streets
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 4, 2018 12:32 PM CST
UK in Tizzy Over Homeless People and the Royal Wedding
This is a Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. file photo of Britain'sPrince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle as they arrive to attend the traditional Christmas Day service, at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant/File)

A political storm is brewing ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's May 19 wedding over whether to crack down on homeless people and beggars in the well-to-do English town of Windsor. The wedding will be held at Windsor Castle, the town's most famous landmark and a favored residence of Queen Elizabeth II. It is expected to draw thousands of extra visitors to the picturesque riverside town 20 miles west of London, and borough council leader Simon Dudley kicked off the controversy by tweeting over the Christmas holidays about the need to clean up the town's streets. He then wrote to police and Prime Minister Theresa May suggesting action be taken to reduce the presence of beggars and the homeless, reports the AP.

Dudley referred to an "epidemic" of homelessness and vagrancy in Windsor and suggested many of the people begging in the town are not really homeless. He said the situation presents a beautiful town in an unfavorable light. Homeless charities reacted angrily Thursday to his suggestion. The BBC reports May was asked about Dudley's comments and replied, "I don't agree," though she did allow that "where there are issues of people who are aggressively begging on the streets then it's important that councils work with the police to deal with that." Harry and Markle will be wed on the closed-off castle grounds but have said they want the public to be involved to some degree. Harry has supported a number of charity events designed to help the homeless.

(More Meghan Markle stories.)

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