It's a long way from Buckingham Palace.

Prince Charles is getting down and dirty Wednesday, visiting a sewer tunnel 75 meters (250 feet) under London's east end.

The heir to the British throne is marking the 150th birthday of the city's sewers, created by engineer Joseph Bazalgette to lift the "Great Stink" caused by sewage and effluent dumped into the River Thames.

Bazalgette's sewers, designed for use by 2 million people, now struggle to cope with more than 6 million Londoners.

The prince is visiting a newly completed tunnel designed to reduce the 39 million tonnes (43 million tons) of untreated sewage released into the river each year.

Charles' great-great-grandfather, King Edward VII, opened Bazalgette's sewer network when he was heir to the throne in 1865.