Using a rusting pair of scissors to trim his greying beard, Vasile declares his love for the Queen.
‘It is the Queen who helps and protects her people,’ he says, brushing the hair clippings from the duvet under which he has been sleeping rough.
‘The Queen cares for her people — everyone knows that. That is why we came from Romania, so she can help us, too.’
The 52-year-old Roma gipsy is one of about 30 Romanians sleeping on a now grubby patch of grass on a central reservation in London’s Park Lane near Marble Arch.