Prince William has been unveiled as BAFTA’s new president, 50 years after his grandfather Prince Philip had the same role. William, 27, succeeds legendary director Lord Richard Attenborough, 86, in the coveted position, and it is the first time the future king has taken part in such a high-profile awards ceremony.
“Becoming president of BAFTA is a great honour for me. There is almost nothing better than going to see a really good film so this is a great personal thrill for me too,” the Daily Star quoted him as saying.
The Prince’s first official duty took place on February 21 when he presented veteran actress Vanessa Redgrave, 73, with the Academy fellowship, the highest accolade the organisation can award.
The Atonement actress followed in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg, 63, and Terry Gilliam, 69, in receiving the gong. A spokesman for the Prince said he was delighted to attend the awards because film was “such an important British industry”.
“The Academy has had a long association with the Royal Family and we are absolutely delighted that Prince William has agreed to become our president,” David Parfitt, the chairman of BAFTA, stated.
Prince Philip, 88, had served as the Academy’s first president in 1959.