PRINCE Michael of Kent visited the Defence Academy in Shrivenham yesterday to open a new centre for languages and culture.

The Defence Centre for Languages and Culture (DCLC), which teaches around 40 different languages, moved to the main Defence Academy campus from its former site in Beaconsfield.

The Queen’s cousin, who studied Russian at the former Defence School of Languages, spent the morning touring the new centre and speaking with students.

Prince Michael said: “It was a joy to be able to officially open the new centre. Languages have an enormous strategic importance and they help to build bridges and understanding between two peoples.”

After the formal opening ceremony, students learning a range of different languages met the prince.

Petty Officer Fraser Downer, who is studying Spanish, demonstrated his skills in a presentation.

He said: “He said I sounded fluent, which considering where I am in my studies and coming from him is quite something.”

Chief instructor Lt Col Matt Sharp said: “We have a long record with the prince because he studied Russian as part of his military service where we were before and he comes back regularly for top-ups.

“It’s fantastic he came along to open the new centre.”