Looking back to when royals opened Warner Bros. studios

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry enjoyed a wizard time nine years ago today when they officially opened Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.

Their Royal Highnesses visited the Watford area for the first time to open the studio complex and got to see where movies including the Harry Potter films and James Bond production Goldeneye were made.

To mark the anniversary of their visit, scroll down this page and enjoy a selection of pictures from the occasion, together with extracts from the Watford Observer’s report of the opening.

The visit got underway with the duchess, who was pregnant with her first child Prince George, and the two princes given a talk about the history of the site.

Watford Observer:

To Prince William and Harry’s delight they were then shown models, costumes and props from Batman movie – The Dark Knight Rises.

Watford Observer:

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?”

Watford Observer:

The brothers then climbed into the Bat Tumbler, while Kate admired an original Dark Knight costume.

Watford Observer:

To mark the official opening of the studios, William, 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”.

Watford Observer:

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 Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who was also present.

Watford Observer:

Members of the audience cheered and clapped as the Duke officially marked the opening of Warner Bros. studios by shutting a traditional film clapper board.

Watford Observer:

The three royals were then shown around The Making of Harry Potter studio tour at the complex.

Watford Observer:

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.

Watford Observer:

The couple also showed their fun side as the stood side by side facing each other to take part in a dual battle.

Watford Observer:

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.

Watford Observer:

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