Technology

Camilla keeps hi-tech watch over Charles at new Meta headquarters

The couple later took part in their first digital plaque unveiling to officially open the tech giant's new King's Cross campus.

The Duchess of Cornwall kept a hi-tech watch over the Prince of Wales as the royal couple officially opened Meta’s new central London offices.

Charles and Camilla were enjoying an hour-long tour of some of the technological innovations which have been built by Meta when she donned a pair of Ray-Ban smart glasses – which can let you take photos, video, listen to music or take phone calls.

She stared straight at her husband, smiled and said: “I can hear what you are saying.”

The couple later took part in their first digital plaque unveiling to officially open the tech giant’s new King’s Cross campus – which has more than 620,000 square feet of office space and almost 5,000 workstations.

Royal visit to Meta offices
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meeting representatives from local community projects supported by Meta (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The couple were in a reality lab – cheerfully named Spider-Ham after cartoon characters by Meta engineers – where they were given sneak peaks various innovations.

Charles looked at a virtual reality headset which helps users explore and learn about places around the world, including its sites, history and culture.

He was talked through the different ways that WhatsApp chatbots are being used to create a social impact.

Royal visit to Meta offices
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall unveil a digital plaque (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

He was told of how it can help to provide countries around the world with reliable information.

Other WhatsApp services include a loneliness chatbot created with the Jo Cox Foundation, to help people link up with places where they can find support and help.

London is Meta’s largest engineering hub outside of the US with more than 4,000 employees based at offices in Brock Street, Rathbone Place, Shaftesbury Avenue and now King’s Cross.

Charles was also briefed on the 2Africa subsea cable which is a global effort by tech companies to help connect Africa, Europe, and the Middle East with affordable, high-speed internet to three billion people.

He was also told about Meta’s efforts to boost online safety.

The prince also heard about the work that Meta is doing to support the people of Ukraine.

This includes how Facebook Groups are being used to help Ukrainian refugees, including new emergency relief features which help members come together and take action.

Since the invasion of Ukraine began, more than five million people have joined over 4,000 Facebook support groups to be part of the drive to help Ukrainian people – through local communities providing humanitarian aid like accommodation, legal advice or medical aid among other forms of assistance, according to Meta.

Camilla also met up with Facebook groups who use the platform to support parents and families in their communities and which have a combined membership of more than 200,000 people.

She also recorded a conversation for her Reading Room account on Instagram.

After the royal visit, Nicola Mendelsohn, Meta’s vice president global business group, said: “It is not just that we are leading on innovation that we are proud of but that we are doing it in a thoughtful and meaningful way as well.”

She added: “At our heart our company is about people, it is about community and it’s about connections.”

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