Prince William delights fans by eating in ‘queer space’ restaurant in Poland: ‘We love an ally’

Prince William surprised unsuspecting patrons at the Butero Bistro in Poland when he stopped in for some food on Wednesday night.

The Prince of Wales dined at the Warsaw restaurant, which is described as a “queer space with comfort food,” alongside Kensington Palace staff during his trip to Poland, where he met with British and Polish troops stationed near the Ukrainian border.

Pictures taken at Butero showed the prince dressed casually in a button-down shirt while sitting at a table with palace staff, as one restaurant worker leaned in to take William’s order. According to the Daily Mail, the royal ordered a £7.50 ($9.22) Kanapka w chałce, or a Polish sandwich with pulled pork, served with fries and garlic mayo.

A source told the outlet that Prince William had asked to join Kensington Palace staff for dinner at a local restaurant they had booked nearby. Speaking to the Daily Mail, restaurant owner Paweł Zasim said they “had absolutely no idea” the prince was coming.

“We had a table booked for 12 people under the name of Daisy,” Zasim said. “But then a bodyguard appeared and said that this wasn’t going to be a Daisy birthday party and then Prince William walked in.

“They said they had a good time, they spent three hours here with the other guests that were already here,” Zasim added. “He ate our sandwich in a braided roll with pulled pork. And he ate everything so I think he liked it.”

Butero Bistro is advertised online as a “queer space with comfort food”. Since its opening last November, the Warsaw restaurant has organised karaoke nights for local drag queens, and promotes itself as a LGBT+ friendly establishment. A neon rainbow sign sits outside the restaurant, while its logo is made up of the colours of the rainbow.

Prince William dines with patrons at the Butero Bistro in Warsaw, Poland (ewa_wysocka)
Prince William dines with patrons at the Butero Bistro in Warsaw, Poland (ewa_wysocka)

The conservative government of Poland has made the eastern European country one of the least LGBT+ friendly countries in the European Union. According to a 2022 ILGA-Europe report, Poland does not recognise same-sex marriage, and the report warns that “an increasing number of Polish LGBTQ people are leaving the country as the political situation continues to worsen.”

A source told the Daily Mail: “It is valuable that he supported the community so abused by the current authorities in Poland.”

While the royal family has yet to make an official statement about Prince William’s visit to the queer-inclusive restaurant, many fans saw the moment as a kind gesture and a subtle statement against Poland’s anti-LGBT+ ideology.

“We love an ally,” said one person on Twitter.

“He is making a statement against the Polish anti-LGBTQ laws,” said someone else.

The Warsaw restaurant where Prince William dined on Wednesday night has since made an unofficial shrine to mark the royal’s visit. In a video posted to Butero’s Instagram page on Thursday, an employee is seen taping a DIY sign with the words “Prince William” to the back of the chair in which he sat less than one day ago.

“We are surprised too, but where else would he feel nice and safe than in our queer and loving space?” the restaurant captioned their Instagram post, per a translation. “We did what we do best – we fed. And the rest is history.”

Throughout the years, Prince William has often vocalised his support for the LGBT+ community. In 2016, the now-Prince of Wales made history as the first member of the royal family to be photographed for the cover of a gay magazine. While posing on the July 2016 cover of Attitude, one of the UK’s leading gay magazines, Prince William used the article to highlight issues of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic bullying and the enduring mental health consequences of LGBT+-phobic speech.

At the 2017 British LGBT Awards, Prince William was named Celebrity Straight Ally of the year and used his acceptance speech to condemn homophobic bullying once again. “In recent years I’ve been compassionate about what we can do to protect people from bullying, particularly online,” he said in a pre-recorded video. “Through this work I’ve encountered a number of tragic stories about LGBT young people who have, sadly, felt unable to cope with the abuse and discrimination they face in their lives.”

The then-Duke of Cambridge even extended his support of the LGBT+ community to his children, after telling the Albert Kennedy Trust in 2019 that he would fully support his children if they were to come out as gay. When asked by the charity how he would react to his children being LGBT+, he replied: “I think you really don’t start thinking about that until you are a parent and I think – obviously, absolutely fine by me.”

“The one thing I’d be worried about is how they, particularly the roles my children fill, is how that is going to be interpreted and seen,” he added. “It worries me as to how everyone else will react and perceive it and then the pressure is then on them.”

The Prince of Wales arrived in Poland on Wednesday to show Britain’s support for the country’s frontline efforts in helping refugees displaced by Russia’s war in Ukraine. The royal met with British troops in Rzeszow, a city in southeastern Poland, as he thanked soldiers for “defending our freedoms” and keeping “an eye on” the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking to British and Polish troops, William said: “I just wanted to come here in person to say thank you for all that you’re doing, keeping everyone safe out here and keeping an eye on what’s going on.

“So, just a big thank you for what you do on a day-to-day basis,” he added. “You’re doing a really important job out here and defending our freedoms is really important, and everyone back home thoroughly supports you.”

On Thursday, the prince placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, as he paid his respects to those who have lost their lives in past wars. The late Queen Elizabeth II and the late Duke of Edinburgh had laid a wreath at the tomb during their state visit to Poland in 1996.

Prince William also met with Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Presidential Palace and visited a local food hall to speak with Ukrainian refugees. It marks William’s first trip to Poland since he visited in 2017 with his wife, the Princess of Wales.