Prince William, Kate Middleton surprise commuters on London bus

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate,

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, ride with television personality Barbara Windsor, second right, on a 1960s Routemaster bus on route to meeting London Poppy Day staff and volunteers. (Nov. 7, 2013) (Credit: AP)

British commuters got a royal treat Thursday when Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, hopped on a 1960s Routemaster bus to a London Underground station, where they greeted charity workers.

Prince William and Kate surprised commuters when they visited volunteers raising money for war veterans. They rode the specially chartered bus a short quarter-mile from their palace home to the High Street Kensington station. There, they met and chatted with workers who were selling the traditional red poppy emblems Brits wear to commemorate casualties of war.

The two, along with actress Barbara Windsor, newscaster Alastair Stewart and others, made the visit to show support for the annual Poppy Appeal, in which military personnel and volunteers sell poppies to raise money for the servicemembers charity The Royal British Legion.

At the station, William and Kate split up to chat separately with several volunteers to the two-week campaign, including RAF Cpl. Steve Johnson, who was playing guitar to help raise funds.

"Can you play something now?" Middleton, 31, asked him, according to British media, before realizing, "You'd better not. It's too crowded."

"They were both really nice," RAF leading aircraftsman Michael Scannell told People magazine. "They both looked really happy, and Prince William was having a bit of a laugh, holding our buckets to see which of us had more cash." Staff Sgt. Juliet Wheeler told the magazine, "It was a great morale boost for us all."

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