Prince Harry meets stars to support poppy appeal

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Media captionPrince Harry meets Barbara Windsor in support of the London Poppy Day Appeal

Prince Harry has met poppy sellers and celebrities at Buckingham Palace on the first stop of their tour of London in a classic 1960s Routemaster bus.

Actress Barbara Windsor and singer Joss Stone were among those touring on the bus to support London Poppy Day.

Around 2,500 collectors took part in events ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Collectors converged at more than 60 tube and train stations. Volunteers were also on the Thames Clippers and at more than 70 of London's major firms.

For Prince Harry it was a chance to thank some of those hoping to raise £1m in 12 hours across the capital, to support the Armed Forces community.

'Most expensive driver'

Covent Garden hosted performances throughout the day from Britain's Got Talent stars Lucy Kay and Jonathan Antoine, the RAF Spitfires Choir and the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Edwardian Display Team.

From the Palace, the bus travelled to Downing Street where Prime Minister David Cameron met those on board.

The bus was driven by Sir Peter Hendy, commissioner of Transport for London, who said: "I've never driven a bus into Buckingham Palace before accompanied by outriders.

"I spoke to Prince Harry. He said 'Why are you here?'

"I said 'It's because of my bus' and he said 'You're probably the most expensive bus driver in London today' and I said 'Yeah, I think I probably am'."

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Image caption The visit was a chance for Prince Harry to thank those hoping to raise £1m in 12 hours

L/Cpl Johnson Beharry, who became the first recipient of the Victoria Cross for more than two decades in 2005 after risking his life to save his colleagues in Iraq, was also on the bus and spoke to Prince Harry.

"Prince Harry is amazing because he has a lot of respect and time for us. I have met him numerous times. He is always the same - full of energy," he said.

Maurillia 'Simi' Simpson - who has been helped by the legion - was also on board.

She served three tours of Iraq with the Royal Logistics Corp before being left with permanent injuries by a motorist who ran a red light.

She said: "It's very special to see everyone getting behind the Poppy Appeal and the work of The Royal British Legion.

"The Poppy is about remembrance but it also symbolises hope for the future of the living - for the Armed Forces community of all ages and their families."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A classic Routemaster bus has been touring London to support the annual appeal
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption David Cameron met Barbara Windsor, Lacey Turner and members of the armed forces
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption From the palace, the bus travelled to Downing Street, where Prime Minister David Cameron met those on board

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