Harry Potter and the royals’ studio visit
Two of America’s favorite British things -- the royals and Harry Potter -- converged over the weekend.
Nothing like that wee bit of magic to knock us off our broomsticks!
Prince William, his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (the former Kate Middleton) and his brother, Prince Harry, last Friday toured the Warner Bros. Studio Leavesden, where the blockbuster “Harry Potter” films, James Bond movie “Goldeneye” and the first “Star Wars” prequel were shot.
The studio last year launched the Making of “Harry Potter” studio tour, which is devoted to J.K. Rowling’s beloved tale about a boy wizard. William, Duke of Cambridge, made a speech at the inauguration, London’s Evening Standard said.
“The journey to today began most obviously with the now-legendary story of an aspiring author, J.K. Rowling, translating her phenomenal imagination onto paper,” Prince William said. “But in another sense, the journey to today began way before, as this country has a long and proud literary and visual arts history.”
Prince William praised the U.K.'s film industry and announced his support for three new BAFTA scholarships. The “Harry Potter” books have long been a favorite of the royal family, and William and Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his wife, Camilla, visited King’s Cross train station in January, where travelers can see an honorary replica of the book’s 9¾ platform -- the book’s London portal to the wizarding school.
Harry, Hermione and Ron -- er, the royals -- were joined by 500 children and adults from various charities they support, the Associated Press reported. The Muggles (that’s non-magical people for the uninitiated) saw props and costumes from the films, received a wand lesson and visited the sets used for Diagon Alley and the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where they also held a meeting for their charities.
“Where’s my brother, why isn’t he doing this?” William said, brandishing one of the wands during a Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson.
Prince Harry was photographed standing on the set used to depict “The Burrow,” home of Ron Weasley’s family. We wonder if he had a ginger affinity for the red-headed clan?
“On the other hand Harry’s just excited to see a real-life talking owl in the Harry Potter studios. I haven’t told him yet that Harry Potter is fictional, so please keep the secret for a little longer,” William joked.
The trio also saw props from other Warner Bros. films, including Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” franchise.
William also thanked Warner Bros. for investing in Leavesden, the only film studio in the U.K. to be owned and operated by a major Hollywood studio, the BBC said.
“You were right to do so, and all three of us hope you have a long and prosperous stay here,” William said. “And please make another of the ‘Dark Knight’ series.”
The duke, whose wife is currently expecting their first child, was “over the moon” when he saw the franchise’s real Batmobile and Batpod.
“You don’t do baby seats for those cars, do you, by any chance?” he joked.
The pregnant duchess, who sported a polka-dot Topshop dress during the visit, looked on as he boarded the vehicle.
William also joshed that he wouldn’t mind taking over the Batman role if need be.
“Christian Bale is getting out and tired,” he said. “I will stand in if I have to.”
The duke and duchess of Cambridge had a busy weekend indeed. William’s royal portrait was unveiled at the National Gallery over the weekend, and the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary Monday by visiting Naomi House Children’s Hospice as part of Children’s Hospice Week.
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