Royals Welcome Hemel Torchbearer

27 July 2012, 11:40

As the Olympic Torch continus it's journey to the Olympic Stadium today, yesterday it toured the grounds of Buckingham Palace, where it was welcomed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The royal trio each nominated one of their charities to take part in this leg of the Torch Relay.

Kate's fellow Scout volunteer Jon Sayer handed over to Wai-Ming Lee from Hemel Hempstead. He volunteers for MapAction, a humanitarian emergency response charity which has Harry as its patron, close to the Palace gates.

To cheers from the crowds lining the perimeter fence, Mr Lee walked on to the Palace forecourt and towards William, Kate and Harry, who all wore official Team GB tops.

In front of his royal audience, Mr Lee exchanged the Olympic flame with John Hulse, from the Mountain Rescue organisation which has William as its patron.

The two men posed for a picture with the Duke, Duchess and Prince behind them before the flame moved on in the hands of Mr Hulse.

Members of the Queen's Royal Household had also gathered to wave the torchbearer off and, after he left the Palace's forecourt, 32 soldiers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment escorted him up Constitution Hill to Hyde Park Corner.

Mr Lee, 38, works for a digital mapping company, but as a MapAction volunteer is sent to disaster areas around the world to map resources, plot where aid is needed and other elements vital to emergency relief.

Before joining the royals for a private reception, he said: "I'm not a medic, I'm not a fireman, when we see these things on the TV you wish you could do something and I can - I'm a computer specialist who makes maps.

"Using maps I can make a difference to the people on the ground, help them get aid to the right people, at the right time, at the right place.''

Speaking about the experience of carrying the torch, he said: "It was exhilarating and over too soon, I was walking slowly to make it last.

``Prince William said to me 'Don't drop it'.''