LONDON (AFP/BBC) - Britain’s Prince William, his wife Catherine and Prince Harry had a wizard time Friday as they visited the Warner Brothers studios where the Harry Potter and Batman movies were filmed.
The junior royals, who were officially opening the studios at Leavesden, north of London, got to try out props and costumes and waved wands on the set of the movies about the teenage wizard. They were shown around the “Making of Harry Potter” tour, a popular tourist attraction for fans of the films based on the books by JK Rowling. Other films produced at the site include the James Bond movie Goldeneye and the first Star Wars prequel.
The Royal party arrived just after 10:30 BST at the £100m facility, which is the only film studio in the UK to be owned and operated by a major Hollywood studio. The trio was given an insight into the film-making process and officially opened the studios which were formerly the production home of all eight Harry Potter films and Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace.
The studios now include nine sound stages, a 100 acre back-lot and one of the largest underwater filming tanks in Europe. At the official inauguration, the duke delivered a short speech in which he thanked the company for making the investment at Leavesden.
“You were right to do so, and all three of us hope you have a long and prosperous stay here - and please make another of the Dark Knight series,” he said.
Second-in-line to the throne William also took the wheel of a Batmobile that featured in the recent trilogy by British director Christopher Nolan. “Christian Bale’s getting old and tired... I will stand in if I have to,” the 30-year-old Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot joked, referring to the star of the series about the caped crusader.
He also jumped astride a bat bike and turned on the engine as younger brother Harry put his fingers in his ears because of the noise.
Kate, 31, who is around six months pregnant, let the boys play with their toys but still cast a spell in a black jacket and polka dot dress from the British high street retailer Topshop that showed off her baby bump. The child, who will be the couple’s first, is expected to be born in July.
The Royals met some of the studio’s production team together with 500 children, and their parents, associated with charities that have one of the royals as their patron.