Duke and Duchess of Cambridge help poppy appeal

William and Kate took a 1960s Routemaster bus to get to the Tube station

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have joined poppy sellers at a London Tube station to support the annual appeal.

The royal couple travelled on a 1960s Routemaster bus to High Street Kensington station where they were met by military personnel and volunteers.

The event was part of London Poppy Day, which aims to raise over £1m in a day for the Royal British Legion appeal.

More than 2,000 volunteers are taking part in events for the legion before Remembrance Sunday.

Earlier William and Kate travelled on the bus from Kensington Palace with legion supporters including actress Barbara Windsor and the newsreader Alastair Stewart.

Analysis

At Remembrance time last year, Prince Harry - Captain Wales - was with his regiment, the Army Air Corps, serving in Afghanistan.

This year he's in London - participating fully with the rest of the royal family in the solemn tributes to the dead of the two world wars and more recent conflicts.

His grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh had asked Harry to join him to open the Field of Remembrance, the area of grass by Westminster Abbey where many hundreds of wooden crosses are planted every year in memory of individual servicemen and women.

Harry looked moved to be there and many of the veterans were pleased a younger member of the family - and a serving soldier - is focusing on taking remembrance forward to present and future generations.

At the same time his brother William and his wife Catherine were meeting young servicemen and women who were taking part in the Royal British Legion's annual poppy appeal.

Both the brothers will be at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. Harry is laying a wreath on behalf of his father, the Prince of Wales, who is on an official visit to India at the moment, while William will lay his own wreath.

Between them, the older and younger generations of the royal family are helping to keep the flame of remembrance burning.

The couple were also introduced to The Poppy Girls, who have produced the appeal's official single.

London Poppy Day was launched by the group, who performed their song at Covent Garden, where a stage has been created for performances throughout the day.

At the station the duke and duchess spoke to retired volunteer Tim Connolly, who has been selling poppies at West Kensington station for nearly 40 years.

"They asked how the appeal was going and whether we were getting support from the public," he said.

"The public is responding when they see uniformed personnel out collecting for the appeal."

Fund-raisers are at 80 stations across London's transport network and different locations in the capital.

Prime Minister David Cameron took part in the event by welcoming the bus to Downing Street, while the Band of The Royal Logistic Corps performed at Leadenhall Market.

All the funds raised will go towards the national Poppy Appeal's target of £37m, which will help the legion carry out its work.

In central London, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Harry opened the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Prince Philip and Prince Harry met veterans and members of the legion as they were shown 100,000 crosses that have been planted in memory of fallen soldiers.

Prince William watching an operation The Duke of Cambridge observed two operations at the Royal Marsden hospital

The duke opens the field of remembrance each year but this was the first time his grandson had joined him.

The field opens for 11 days each year and allows people to plant remembrance crosses. Remembrance Sunday takes place on 10 November.

Later in the day Prince William also visited the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea, west London, where he praised the work of two surgical teams.

The duke watched two live operations, of a breast reconstruction procedure and the removal of a bladder tumour.

Prince William, who is president of the hospital trust, became the first royal to watch surgery at the cancer centre.

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