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The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall officially open the Sky Academy

2nd December 2014

The Duchess of Cornwall tries her hand on the camera operating desk

The Prince of Wales has made Royal history by opening a new academy aimed at inspiring the broadcasters of tomorrow - by unveiling an electronic plaque.

It took just a press of a button to launch the Sky Academy Careers Lab, which aims to encourage teenagers to consider a career in the media, technology and business and equip them with the skills they will need.

In the Academy's home at the west London campus of the broadcaster Sky, the electronic plaque appeared on a screen seconds after the heir to the throne, who was joined by The Duchess of Cornwall, touched a tablet screen.

Under the Academy, sixth form students are given hands on experience of life at Sky including working alongside staff on a practical challenge and get the chance to interview a senior employee about working in the industry.

During their tour of the campus The Duchess could not resist trying her hand at controlling the robot cameras when Their Royal Highnesses visited the Sky Sports News HQ studio.

As Rachel Wyse was presenting a piece The Duchess sat at a console and used two joysticks to set up the image and focus it.

Rachel Applin, 31, a camera operator gave the royal visitor a quick to lesson in what to do and said afterwards: "What The Duchess was doing was choosing the 'into the break' shot.

"She did very well, she chose her own shot and focused it."

Their Royal Highnesses met presenters Kirsty Gallacher and Natalie Sawyer, with Ms Gallacher telling them how they had worked their way up to their positions.

She said "we were runners" and adding joking "I made all the teas and coffee".

The Prince and Duchess turn on the Christmas lights

Their Royal Highnesses split up to watch groups of children working in mini news studios with the pupils acting as cameramen, presenters, directors and producers.

In another part of the campus The Duchess was intrigued by an interactive wall that showed scenes from various departments at Sky when a visitor looked through holes in the wall.

The installation was captioned with the words "When you find a job, what will be most important to you?".

Before leaving the royal couple attended a reception meeting staff and students and learnt about the latest developments in a Sky project, in partnership with WWF, to save a billion trees in the Amazon rainforest over a six year period.

The Amazon was brought to The Prince, and he tasted the juice of the Acai berry which grows wild in the rainforest and can be harvested by locals and provides them with an income.

After taking a sip from a tiny pot The Prince said "it's good" and then headed outside the building to turn on the lights on a 35ft Christmas tree as hundreds of staff watched.