Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall last night welcomed British Oscar winners to St James’s Palace for a reception to celebrate British filmmaking.
Actors and actresses including Sir Michael Caine, Vanessa Redgrave, Jim Broadbent, Dame Maggie Smith and Colin Firth were welcomed to the palace, and got the chance to speak to The Prince of Wales and Duchess.
Emma Thompson – a friend of Charles and Camilla’s – greeted Charles singing “It’s you! You look gorgeous,” while Dame Judi Dench gave the Prince a kiss on the cheek as old friends. Singer Sam Smith, who recently performed the James Bond theme song, was seen chatting to Camilla, sporting a new beard.
Prince Charles recently appeared on stage with the veteran thespian, Ms Dench, to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th birthday, where he gave his opinion on how to say the famous line from Hamlet “To be or not to be”.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson and members of the Academy’s Board of Governors were also in attendance.
More than 300 British artists and filmmakers have been awarded Oscars, with 45 years of film production represented at the reception.
Speaking about their concerns for the future of acting, Michael Caine said: “They’re very young now. I was 30 before I became well known. I’ve watched it ruin people. By the time they’re 30, they’re through. These days they just say I’m going to an actor because I want to be rich and famous. And then they do a little part on television and everyone knows who they are. They can’t really act.”
“I knew I wasn’t going to be rich, I knew I wasn’t going to be famous, I knew I wasn’t going to be a movie star, I just wanted to be a good actor, that’s all.”
Judi Dench was also concerned: “I think it’s worrying that training [to be an actor] is so expensive. I must have, I don’t know how many letters a week from young actors wanting to get to drama school and not having the money to get them through.”
The 131 actors posed for a photo with the Royal couple at the reception, Charles and Camilla taking front and centre seats.