Prince William and Kate Middleton did their best to look amused at last night’s BAFTA awards, as Brad Pitt aimed a cheeky gag at the royals’ recent woes with Meghan and Harry, albeit from 5,500 miles away.
However, William and Kate struggled to muster a similarly stoic response when Prince Andrew got name-checked by Rebel Wilson.
Pitt was not present in person to collect his award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and had Margot Robbie stand in while he stayed back in L.A.
“Brad couldn’t be here tonight so he asked me to read his response,” Robbie said, “He starts by saying, ‘Hey Britain. I heard you just became single. Welcome to the club. Wishing you the best with the divorce settlement now blah blah blah.
“He then says thank you to the Academy for this extreme honor.”
Robbie, who missed out on the supporting-actress trophy despite having controversially received two nominations in the category for different roles, picked up the award and said: “Oh, and he says he’s going to name this Harry because he is really excited about bringing it back to the States with him.”
After gasps from the stunned Royal Albert Hall audience, she quickly added as she walked off the stage: “His words not mine, thanks.”
Pitt appears to have taken on a new role as awards-show joker-in-residence. After picking up a Golden Globe for his part in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, in which he plays an occasionally bare-chested, pot-smoking stuntman who may have shot his wife with a crossbow, he said: “It was a difficult part, a guy who takes his shirt off, gets high, and doesn’t get on with his wife. It was a big stretch. Big.”
Although William and Kate managed to crack a wry smile for the Harry gag, they were less amused by actress Rebel Wilson, 39, who drew gasps of astonishment when she pretended to be flustered and confused and mentioned Prince Andrew when she introduced the award for Best Director.
You kinda have to watch it:
Prince William used his opening speech to voice his concerns about the lack of diversity among the award winners after all 20 stars nominated for acting gongs were white, and the shortlist for best director was all-male.
He said: “We are lucky to have incredible filmmakers, actors, producers, directors, and technicians, men and women from all backgrounds and ethnicity 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 (Pippa Harris, chairwoman of BAFTA) and Amanda (Amanda Berry, BAFTA CEO) share that frustration and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that creative talent is discovered and supported.
“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.”
Rebel Wilson captured the mood more succinctly. After reading the all-male directors shortlist, she said: “I look at the exceptional, daring talent nominated in this category and I don’t think I could do what they do... Honestly, I just don’t have the balls.”
Kate Middleton, 38, wore a white and gold gown by Alexander McQueen for the star-studded event, recycling a dress she first wore in 2012, after event organizers urged guests to dress in “sustainable” fashion.