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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry enjoy a wizard time on Harry Potter studio tour
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry were greeted with the words “Welcome to Hogwarts” as they officially opened the £100 million Warner Bros studios. in Leavesden.
Their Royal Highnesses had a wizard time as they stepped in to the production home of all eight Harry Potter films, James Bond movie Goldeneye and the first of the Star Wars prequel which marked the very first time the three have visited Watford.
William, Kate and Harry were greeted by local dignitaries including Herts police chief Andy Bliss, Watford Mayor Dorothy Thornhill, Three Rivers Chairman Kemal Butt and Hertfordshire County Council Leader Robert Gordon.
The Duchess was wearing a black tailored Ralph Lauren jacket with her baby bump clearly showing under a £38 polka dot Topshop dress while William and Harry both wore dark suits. As the visit got underway, the Royal three were given a talk about the history of the venue right up to modern day to mark the studios 90th anniversary.
To Prince William and Harry’s delight they were then shown models, costumes and props from Batman movie- The Dark Knight Rises. Clearly a fan, Prince William jumped aboard the Bat-pod, a motorcycle style prop used in the film and joked “Where’s the start button?.”
The brothers then climbed in to the Bat Tumbler and The Duke got inside and revved the engine. This is all while Kate, 31 was seen admiring an original Dark Knight costume, which is said to weigh 400 kilos and take 25 minutes to put on.
The Royal trio then got a chance to experience a 3D production set and view original sets from some of the Warner. Bros films.
They were then greeted by JK Rowling, infamous author of all seven Potter books who was also wearing a pink polka dot dress.
To mark the official opening of the studios, William, 30 delivered a speech in his capacity as the President of the Baftas.
Showing his fun side he asked members of the creative team “if there was a chance they made baby seats for the Batmobile.” The Royal couple are expecting their first child in July.
He said: “All three of us have been looking forward to being here with you all today. “So far it has exceeded our expectations.”
Members of the audience laughed when the Duke added: “To be honest I’m over the moon to have seen the real Batmobile and Bat-Pod.
On the other hand Harry is just excited to see a real life talking owl. I haven’t yet told him Harry Potter is fictional- so please don’t let the secret out just yet.”
Prince William then went on to praise the “inspirational” work of JK Rowling, who was also present.
He said: "The journey today began most obviously after the legendary story by inspiring author JK Rowing.
“Translating her phenomenal imagination on to paper in the form of the Harry Potter series. But in another sense the journey today began way before, since this country has a long and proud literary and visual arts history.”
Members of the audience then cheered and clapped as The Duke officially marked the opening of Warner Bros. studios by shutting a traditional film clapper board.
He then joined Kate and Harry in hosting a meeting for their Charities Forum, which took place in Hogwarts’ Great Hall- the original set from the Potter movies.
The Charities Forum is a collection of more than 35 charities, of which the three are patrons.
The three enjoyed a journey behind the scenes in to the beloved movie world that chronicles the teenage wizard's adventures- Warner Bros. Studio Tour London –The Making of Harry Potter.
Here they learnt a little magic as they were enchanted by breathtakingly detailed scenes, stunning sets, props, animatronics and models of the iconic creatures from the popular film.
Kate and William impressed fellow muggles - a term wizards use for non-magical people in the books - as they wielded a wand during a lesson in the Gryffindor Common Room, one of the original movie sets.
The Royal couple showed their fun as the stood side by side facing each other to take part in a dual battle.
Children from their charities looked on and William was overheard telling an overwhelmed and rather smitten little girl, “I hope you have enjoyed your day.”
While the couple enjoyed learning all about wielding a wand, Prince Harry visited The Weasley family kitchen.
So when it came to using a wand to put a spell on a cauldron in Diagon Alley- the main wizarding street in the films, The Royal couple were keen that Harry had his go first.
Prince Harry joked he hadn’t yet received his training and with a failed attempt at hitting the cauldron with his wand, a Warner Bros. tour guide joked “It’s the Wizard , not the wand.”
The royal trio then peered through shop windows along the alley and greeted actors from the Potter film, Bonnie Wright who played Ginny Weasley and Matt David, who plays Neville Longbottom.
A corridor of work by Stuart Craig, the onset designer of the Potter films, and concept artists was then admired by the Duke and Duchess and Harry, along with the model of Hogwarts castle.
To mark the end of the tour guides from the studios presented the three with presents including specially made hand crafted wands and a Harry Potter Tour passport On receiving their presents, the Royal brothers joked about taking part in a wand dual and Prince Harry asked: “Do they work?” and “How magic are they?”
Blossoming mother-to-be, Kate was clearly impressed by her studio tour and thanked a tour guide. She said: “Thank you very much. The tour was very interesting and you are all doing a great job.”
Clearly overjoyed by the Royal visit, Shelley Hazell, a tour interactor who was also involved in the making of the Potter films said: “It was great, they were ever so lovely.
“They are clearly fans of Harry Potter, which is nice to see. They were asking lots of questions and seemed to be really interested. It was great.”
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