KATE, Duchess of Cambridge and her husband William will attend an engagement at BAFTA’s headquarters in London on Thursday, just days before the Queen prepares for a difficult anniversary. Prince William, 39, and Kate, 40, will mark the reopening of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts headquarters by visiting their refurbished building later this week. While there, the royal couple will learn about BAFTA’s efforts to increase the amount of support given to young people aspiring to work in the film, games and television industries.
The purpose of the academy’s annual awards is “to recognise, honour and reward individuals for outstanding achievement in feature films released in the UK within the awards year”. The Duke of Cambridge has been President of BAFTA since February 2010, a post previously held by both his grandfather Prince Philip and his aunt Princess Anne.
The Duke of Edinburgh was the organisation’s first president in 1959, while the Princess Royal was in post between 1972 and 2001. BAFTA has a long history of royal presidents, as all but one —director Richard Attenborough — has been a member of the Royal Family.
In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stole the show as guests of honour at the 73rd annual awards at the Royal Albert Hall. For the occasion, guests were asked to “dress sustainable” by re-wearing outfits, renting gowns or donning a vintage ensemble.
Kate dazzled in a white-and-gold Alexander McQueen dress she first wore in 2012, while William opted for a recycled tuxedo. Prince William was scheduled to lead a pre-recorded conversation at last year’s event in addition to delivering a live speech via video link. However, the Duke pulled out of appearing as part of BAFTA programming due to the death of his grandfather Prince Philip.
The news was confirmed in a statement by BAFTA at the time, who added: “Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.” Over the course of his presidency, William has generously offered his time to help BAFTA raise awareness of their charitable initiatives.
William and Kate’s upcoming visit to the headquarters of the film awards comes just days after the Queen travelled from Windsor Castle to Sandringham. Her Majesty made the visit to her estate in Norfolk as the anniversary of her father’s death draws nearer. The monarch is preparing to mark the anniversary of King George VI’s death on February 6.
While in Norfolk, the Queen is believed to be staying at Wood Farm, a five-bedroom cottage which Prince Philip made his main residence in 2017 after he retired from public duties. The Queen normally marks the anniversary of the death and her consequent accession to the throne privately and in Norfolk, where her father passed away.
The days preceding this heartbreaking anniversary are also expected to be emotional for the sovereign as Princess Margaret, her only sister, died on February 9. February 6 is also a significant date for the monarch as it marks the start of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which will culminate in an extended bank holiday in June.
She will be the first-ever English sovereign to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years as head of state.
Celebrations for Her Majesty’s historic reign will be taking place all year, and members of the Royal Family will travel across the country and the Commonwealth to celebrate the milestone.