Prince Harry welcomed soap royalty Barbara Windsor and war veterans as they called into Buckingham Palace to mark London Poppy Day – on a bus.
Harry joked that the driver of the 1960s Routemaster was “the most expensive bus driver in London today” after it pulled into the forecourt of the palace.
He spoke to passengers including EastEnders stars Windsor and Lacey Turner and singer Joss Stone, as well as former and serving personnel from all three branches of the military before waving off the double decker.
The Royal stop was the first on a journey across the capital from Covent Garden to Leadenhall Market to promote The Royal British Legion’s London Poppy Day, which raised £1 million last year.
From the Palace the bus travelled through the streets of the capital to Downing Street, where Prime Minister David Cameron met those on board.
The bus was driven by Sir Peter Hendy, the commissioner of Transport for London. He said: “We are having a fantastic day. 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’.
“It’s all got a serious purpose, which is raising money for the Poppy Appeal.”