Duke of Cambridge calls for more diversity during glitzy awards ceremony with Duchess Kate

Celebrities and Royalty rubbed shoulders at tonight’s 73rd annual EE British Academy Film Awards, hosted at the Royal Albert Hall. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in attendance, since Prince William is president of the academy.

As the couple walked up the steps into the venue, some well-wishers shouted to the Duchess: “You look beautiful!”

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

And then as an after thought:”You too Will,” and the Duke thanked them laughing.

Notably, Kate chose an old dress, as attendees were asked to consider their impact on the environment for the awards, as part of efforts to make the ceremony carbon neutral for the first time. You can read more about Kate’s look – a gown from 2012 – on our sister site here.

The Duchess of Cambridge at the BAFTA Film Awards 2020, wearing an old McQueen dress.

Graham Norton presented the ceremony, and joked that the Royal Albert Hall was a grand setting for all the guests, except The Duke of Cambridge, who found it ‘a bit poky’!

William wasn’t the only one to be made a royal joke tonight: Prince Harry, who is now in Canada with his wife and son after stepping back from royal life last month, featured in Brad Pitt’s acceptance speech, given by Margot Robbie.

His message said he was “going to name his award ‘Harry’ because he’s excited about bringing it back to the States”.

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Prince William is president of BAFTA, and during his speech to present the academy’s highest award, the Fellowship. Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy was the recipient.

2020 marks ten years for the Duke as the president of BAFTA and he praised the ‘exceptional film-making’ that had been highlighted during the ceremony.

He commented that he was unsure if he should be ‘proud or slightly alarmed’ at how many of the winners ‘have portrayed members of my own family’.

William and Kate laugh at a joke (BBC still)

The Duke said: “Both here in the UK and in many other countries across the world we are lucky to have incredible film-makers, actors, producers, directors and technicians – men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicities enriching our lives through film.

“Yet in 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age.”

“I know that both Pippa (Harris), chair of Bafta and Amanda (Berry), Bafta CEO, share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported,” the Royal told the guests. “Bafta take this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations, have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process to build on their existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.”

It is understood that the future King has privately shared his concerns about the lack of diversity of the awards; William spoke to to BAFTA’s chief executive, Amanda Berry, who says she was ‘very disappointed’ when the nominations were announced.

The awards have been repeatedly condemned for failing to make progress over the years.

Following the ceremony, the royal couple joined the winners and other attendees on the stage for a meet and greet.

The 2020 BAFTA winners:


LEADING ACTRESS – Renee Zellweger, Judy

LEADING ACTOR – Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Laura Dern, Marriage Story

SUPPORTING ACTOR – Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 




DOCUMENTARY – For Sama, Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts

ANIMATED FILM – Klaus, Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh

DIRECTOR -1917, Sam Mendes

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Parasite, Han Jin Won, Bong Joon-ho

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – JoJo Rabbit, Taika Waititi

ORIGINAL SCORE – Joker, Hildur Guđnadóttir

CASTING – Joker, Shayna Markowitz

CINEMATOGRAPHY -1917,  Roger Deakins

EDITING – Le Mans ’66, Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker

PRODUCTION DESIGN – 1917, Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales

COSTUME DESIGN – Little Women, Jacqueline Durran

MAKE UP & HAIR – Bombshell, Vivian Baker, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan

SOUND – 1917, Scott Millan, Oliver Tarney, Rachael Tate, Mark Taylor, Stuart Wilson

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS – 1917, Greg Butler, Guillaume Rocheron, Dominic Tuohy

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION – Grandad was a Romantic, Maryam Mohajer

BRITISH SHORT FILM – Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl), Carol Dysinger, Elena Andreicheva

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public) – Michael Ward

Producer Kathleen Kennedy was granted the BAFTA Fellowship Award; Andy Serkis was honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Cinema.

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