ROYALTY: Shaking hands with Prince Harry

Debut marathon runner Victoria Dunthorne, of Denver, shook hands with Prince Harry on Wednesday when she collected her race number for  Sunday’s VirginMoney London Marathon.

The prince was at the city’s ExCel centre to officially open this year’s event.

As runners waited to collect their numbers and officials called the first 10 people forward from the queue to have their picture taken with the prince as part of a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Harry then gave out race packs to the 10 plus special Heads Together headbands which will be given to all runners to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Vicky, who was second in the queue, had arrived at the centre early and saw lots of press activity.

She said it had already been announced that Prince Harry was to open the event and she decided to wait in the queue to see what happened.

Harry chatted to the group and then spoke to her when she collected her number.

“I told him I was really nervous and said I had been training around Sandringham and Anmer.

“He said it was quite flat there and I told him ‘no, actually it was hilly’. He said ‘have a lovely day’.”

Vicky said she wanted to run the marathon to celebrate her 50th birthday in September and to raise money for Arthritis Research in memory of her 79-year-old father-in-law Richard Dunthorne, of Downham Market, who died three-and-a-half years ago.

So far, she has raised around £2,700.