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The Duchess of Cornwall officially opens the 'First News' offices

25th February 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall meets a young reporter from First News

The Duchess of Cornwall meets a young reporter from First News

The Duchess of Cornwall was quizzed by budding young journalists as she officially opened the new offices of a successful children's newspaper.

Her Royal Highness was photographed by 11-year-old Kai Patel and questioned by Chloe Miller as she visited the news room of First News in Borough, south London, the UK's only newspaper for young people.

The Duchess also learned about new charity, Children United, which will connect children across the world over the internet so they can share their different experiences and cultures.

As The Duchess was introduced to the newspaper's staff Kai snapped away like a seasoned professional, while Chloe questioned her.

Her Royal Highness, who is Patron of the National Literacy Trust, among other literacy charities including BookTrust, First Story, the Wicked Young Writers’ Award and most recently Beanstalk, features in the next issue of First News - which is read by two million people - answering questions on her reading habits.

Chloe, 11, from Stanmore in north west London, said: "She wanted me to choose a photo of her for First News and then she said that if she could be any book character she would be Winnie the Pooh.

"I asked her why and she said she would love to have her fingers stuck in honey. I thought that was a good excuse."

Kai, from Stanwell Moor, Surrey, said he only discovered he was going to be taking photographs of a member of the royal family when a camera was thrust into his hands this morning - his very first day.

He said: "It has been been a real honour to meet The Duchess of Cornwall. She is just like everyone else and was talking to me like an adult in a normal way."

After meeting the newspaper staff The Duchess was told about the work of Children United - and she was given a taste of how it will work when she took part in a Skype session between children at the First News office and a group of school children in Uganda, who sang for The Duchess.

As well as connecting children all over the world, Children United will also run campaigns on issues that directly impact young people, such as access to education.

Nicki Whiteman, a founder member of Children United, said: "The idea is to bring children from across the globe together to talk about the issues that matter to them.

"It is so exciting to think that soon we will have a really safe virtual environment where children can interact and share views and experiences in a really safeguarded way.

"Parents have been crying out for it for a pretty long time. Technology has opened up what can be a scary world for many parents, so it is great to know that through Children United we can create a space where children from across the world can come together in a safe way."

Before she left, The Duchess officially unveiled First News' new office building, renamed Cornwall House in her honour.

Speaking as she opened the new office, The Duchess said: "I think Children United is one of the most wonderful things I've seen. I hope it goes from strength to strength".

The Duchess of Cornwall takes part in a Skype call with young people in Uganda as part of Children United

The Duchess of Cornwall takes part in a Skype call with young people in Uganda as part of Children United