Baftas 2021: Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman pay tribute to Prince Philip


The BAFTAs has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his death on Friday.

Prince Philip, who died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99, was the first president for BAFTA, and held the role from 1959 to 1965.

Hosts Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman honoured the late Prince’s work for BAFTA in their opening monologue for the ceremony, which is being held at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

“It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty’s support throughout these years that, in many ways, has allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times and still be here today in 2021,” said Bowman.

“The Duke of Edinburgh occupies a special place in BAFTA’s history and our thoughts are with the royal family.”

The duke’s grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, is the current president for the organisation.

Prince William had been scheduled to make an appearance at this year’s BAFTAs on Saturday 10 April for a pre-recorded conversation with acclaimed costume designer Jenny Beavan and make-up and hair designer Sharon Martin.

The conversation would have revolved around the struggles of making films in lockdown and the craft of filmmaking more generally.

He was also expected to deliver a speech during the main film awards on Sunday evening that would have been live and delivered virtually.

However, following news of Prince Philip’s death, it was announced that Prince William would no longer be taking part in the proceedings.

“In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of BAFTA programming this weekend,” said BAFTA in a statement.

“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.”

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