The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge enjoyed a tour of the Warner Bros Studios with Prince William, sitting in the Batmobile, trying out the Batbike and learning to duel with wands.
Examining props from some of the company’s best-loved films, the Royal couple battled one another on film sets and even wondered aloud whether the famous Batmobile came with a baby seat.
The Duke, who gave a speech to inaugurate the studio in his role as president of Bafta, joked he would like to “borrow” the Batmobile for the weekend, as he teased his younger brother for believing Harry Potter was “real”.
“I’m over the moon just to have seen the real batmobile and batbike,” he said. “You don’t do baby seats for those cars do you?”
Poking fun at Prince Harry, he added: “Harry is just happy to have seen a real-life talking owl. I haven’t told him yet that Harry Potter isn’t real.”
He went on: “Please make another in the Dark Knight series. And another, and another.”
He officially inaugurated the studio with a clapperboard, saying: “Warner Brothers Studios Leavesden act one, take one.”
The Royal party were also given a tour of the Harry Potter sets, as the Duke and Duchess were given a lesson in how to cast spells with wands – then duelled against each other.
The Duke cast an “expelliarmus” jinx to disarm his opponent, as nine children representing charities helped by the couple’s foundation looked on.
The Duchess beamed with delight as wand movement teacher Scott Heron, 20, put them through their paces.
He said: “They were really good. I think they could join Dumbledore’s Army.”
While the couple duelled in the Griffindor Common room set, Prince Harry looked around The Burrow, home of the red-headed Weasley family, prompting inevitable jokes about Harry’s hair.
Leanne Dormody, one of the staff, said: “They would have had to make The Burrow much higher if he was a Weasley.”
While learning about the Batman films, the Duke could not resist the chance to sit on the bat bike and was told only two people had ever ridden it; the stunt doubles for Bale and Hathaway.
As he and Harry admired the batmobile, the Duke said: “We’ll have to borrow that for the weekend,” then climbed inside while Harry asked: “How many miles has it done?”
The Duke was so taken with the Batmobile, officially known as the Tumbler, that he spent five minutes inside the vehicle and fired up its 5.7 litre engine, revving it loudly.
The royal party also met Harry Potter author JK Rowling and her husband, Neil, David Heyman, producer of the Potter films, David Yates, director of the last three Potter films, Mike Newell, who directed the fourth Potter film, and Julie Tottman, the animal trainer who was in charge of the owls on the films.
Earlier today, they were given a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how films including the Batman trilogy have been made in the UK.
The £100m studios accounts for a third of all the films now made in the UK. Other movies shot here include Star Wars Episode One, The Phantom Menace, and the James Bond film Goldeneye.
The Duchess arrived wearing a white £38 dress with brown polka dots from Top Shop, with a short black jacket over the top.
The Royal party began the tour with a short presentation on the history of Warner Bros in the UK, then met a line-up of staff in one of the hangar-sized studios.
Waiting for them was an honour guard of mannequins wearing Gotham City Police Dept costumes from the Batman films, together with Christian Bale’s Batman costume, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman outfit, and the costumes worn by baddies Tom Hardy, as Bane, and Heath Ledger, as The Joker.
Props including the batmobile, bat-bike and masks worn by The Joker’s henchmen were also on display.
Sound stage G, where the Royal party met staff, was used for several sets in the Harry Potter films and for the Tom Cruise film All You Need Is Kill.