Prince William and Kate Middleton kick-start Poppy Day before surprising commuters at London station

Prince William and Kate Middleton kick-start Poppy Day before surprising commuters at London station
Prince William and Kate Middleton have given London Poppy Day a royal boost by meeting some of those taking part in the fundraising event.

At around 10am on Thursday morning, a 1960s Routemaster Bus pulled into the grounds of Kensington Palace carrying staff and volunteers.

As the group exited the Poppy Bus – travelling around London as part of the Royal British Legion tour – they were warmly welcomed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.


William and Kate surprised commuters at High St Kensington Station on Thursday

Among those onboard were the Poppy Girls; five youngsters from military families who have the 2013 Poppy Appeal’s official single, The Call (No Need To Say Goodbye).

The girls – Megan Adams, 10, Florence Ransom, 10, Alice Milburn, 13, Bethany Davey, 15 and 17-year-old Charlotte Mellor – beat 1000 hopefuls to make it into the group, and their single is being released on Remembrance Sunday.

After spending time with the group, William and Kate headed out into the capital to support the fundraisers.


After welcoming the Poppy Bus, the couple headed out to support fundraisers

The couple surprised commuters with an appearance at High Street Kensington Station just before 11am, Kate dressed in her red LK Bennett Ami coat and William in a dark suit.They spent time chatting with the servicemen and servicewoman who were out selling poppies.

Kensington Palace is not the only landmark on the Poppy Bus tour. Later this afternoon, Prime Minister David Cameron will welcome the Poppy Bus to Downing Street.

The Royal British Legion is holding London Poppy Day in an effort to raise £1millon in a single day.

It was launched on Thursday evening when Mayor Boris Johnson fired a light artillery gun at Armourey House in the City of London.


The Poppy Girls on the Poppy Bus

On Thursday, more than 2,000 uniformed personnel, veterans and supporters will take to the streets of the capital for the eight annual London Poppy Day, ahead of Remembrance Sunday this weekend.

Fundraisers appeared at 80 tube and train stations to help raise money for the national Poppy Appeal, which this year aims to raise £37million.

Elsewhere, Prince Philip was accompanied by his grandson Prince Harry for his annual visit to the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on Thursday morning.

The royals paid their respects by each laying a Cross of Remembrance in front of two wooden crosses from the Graves of Unknown British Soldiers from the First and Second World Wars.