Actors John Boyega and Daisy Ridley spoke to reporters about meeting Prince William and Prince Harryon the set of Star Wars: Episode VIII at Pinewood Studios.

Guided by the British actress who played Rey in The Force Awakens, the royal brothers met with Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, were shown Chewbacca's head – before getting a hug from the full-size 7ft 6in version – as well as robotic stars R2-D2 and the BB-8.

Asked what it was like to meet the royals, Ridley said: "Suddenly nobody had any work to do – there were 300 people at Pinewood having their lunch and was very exciting! They were taken aback by how amazing everything is."

Boyega added: "It added to a great experience of being part of this movie and meeting people from extraordinary paths – and they were Star Wars fans."

In a tweet, Kensington Palace said the visit was to "recognise the wealth of fantastic British creative talent involved" in making Star Wars films. Star Wars: Episode VIII is due for release in December 2017.