IT was a first for Prince Edward as he opened a new building in Winchester today.

At the opening ceremony at the University campus this morning, the Earl of Wessex noted that the plaque was dedicated to a different building to the one in which students and dignitaries were gathered.

“I feel it's a strange experience to be in one building opening another,” Prince Edward said.

“The last time I came here it was still a college so it's great to come back to it as a university. Learning is obviously something that is thriving in Winchester.”

Despite the drizzle, around 70 people turned out to witness the Earl arrive as he officially opened the £6.5m state-of-the-art learning building.

He was welcomed by Hampshire's Lord Lieutenant Dame Mary Fagan, and later took time to visit a class of media production students.

Second year student Naomi Pink, 19, spoke with Edward. “It was great. He obviously has some interest in film production because he understood the roles we each have. He was clearly comfortable talking about film production.”

Later he visited the Great Hall to unveil a new sculpture of his mother, The Queen.