LUCKY college students and staff and local employers told of their delight at meeting the Royal visitor.
Daniel Robinson is chairman of Gus Robinson Developments, which has a long history of taking on apprentices from the college.
Mr Robinson, a self-confessed Royalist, who was a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, said: “He was very nice and very down-to-earth.
“He was very well-informed and asked how we bring apprentices in and not only how we put them through apprenticeships, but how we see them through their careers.”
Hartlepool air cadet Beth Calvert described the Royal visit as a “day I will never forget”.
The 17-year-old, who is studying an aerospace course at the college and eventually wants to join the RAF and become an air traffic controller, was given the honour of accompanying the Duke on his tour.
The former High Tunstall College of Science student, who lives in the West Park area with parents Dawn and Richard and brothers Ewan, four, and 11-year-old Brad, said: “It was really exciting.
“He asked me what I was studying at the college and what my future ambitions were.”
Gareth Tupman, 32, a student and governor at the college, presented the Duke with a Joe Cornish picture of Hartlepool.
He admitted: “He shook my hand and I had been trying to keep my palms dry. It was quite an honour to meet him.”
David Boagey, a 17-year-old engineering student from Elwick, spoke to the Prince.
He said: “He asked how we got interested in engineering and I said I followed it through my family.
“He was a nice man, very approachable.”