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William and Kate welcome 2012 torch to palace

  • 26 Jul 2012
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LONDON (AFP)
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Prince William and his wife Kate welcomed the Olympic flame to Buckingham Palace on Thursday, the penultimate day of its marathon journey that culminates at the London Games opening ceremony.

Kate, William and his brother Prince Harry applauded as the torch was brought into the palace grounds, with thousands of fans cheering outside the gates.

The flame was on a tour of some of central London's most famous landmarks before it finally makes its dramatic entrance at the Olympic Stadium on Friday.

The royals all wore Great Britain team t-shirts as the flame made its way to Hyde Park, where an expected crowd of 80,000 were set to greet the torch at a concert marking the start of the Games.

Wai Ming-Lee, 38, who volunteers with a disaster mapping charity, brought the flame into the palace grounds, and lit the torch of 56-year-old mountain rescue volunteer John Hulse in front of the royals.

The torch relay is on the 69th day of its 8,000-mile (12,875-kilometre) journey around Britain.

Since the flame began its final, seven-day tour around the Olympic host city on Saturday, millions of Londoners have come out onto the streets to show their support.

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the relay to the steps of his Downing Street office.

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