PUPILS at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy came face to face with royalty when the Duke of Gloucester called in for a visit.

Students presented their exhibition about the Holocaust and genocide to him yesterday.

After seeing their work he gave a talk and he also presented awards to some of the students who had contributed to the exhibition.

Mike Leighfield, who was elected Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett last week, was at the event with the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Sarah Rose Troughton and Wiltshire Council chairman Robert Hall.

“It was an absolutely fantastic event,” he said.

“We walked a few paces behind the duke and it was all very well set up.

“We had a tour of the exhibits and a chat to the students and from there they had a reading group which was very interesting.

“They had set it up exceptionally well.”

The exhibition was made up of maps, memorials and flags and included the Jewish Holocaust, as well as genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia and Zimbabwe.

“The first part of the exhibition was the Holocaust in the last war.

“A couple of the students had been to Auschwitz and had gone into it in great detail,” said Coun Leighfield.

“They had researched it thoroughly and got an awful lot of reading material.

“The students had done the exhibition themselves and made memorials. Their work was brilliant and the students were really into it.

“We spent a long time going all the way around it.”

After seeing the exhibition and speaking to the pupils, the duke gave a speech in a special assembly which lasted about five minutes.

“It was off the cuff about how we should be treating people and stop bullying,” said Coun Leighfield.

“He said we should make sure voices are heard to prevent these atrocities which take place.”

The duke gave awards to about 20 pupils who had been involved with the project.

Members of the public had a a chance to see the exhibition during an open session last week.