Kate Middleton took center stage Sunday night at the BAFTAs in London, the British film awards of which her husband, Prince William, is the chief patron.
Brushing aside rumors that organizers had been worried that Kate might overshadow the nominees and winners—who included Nicole Kidman, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, and Emily Blunt—Kate and William were the undisputed stars of the night, with the actors craning in their seats to get a better view of the royals as they were the last to arrive at the venue.
William has been president of BAFTA since February 2010, and both he and the Kate have supported the organization by attending events and fundraisers, but this is the first time they have attended the awards ceremony together.
There were reports that the organizers were nervous that Kate’s presence would overshadow the nominated actors and winners, and it is certainly the case that the British newspapers are all leading with images of Kate this morning.
However with the BAFTAs up against the Grammys for global attention this morning, its arguable that without Kate—who wore a floral McQueen gown—being there, the BAFTAs might have passed entirely unnoticed internationally.
According to previous reports, one BAFTA source said, “It was expressed by senior staff within BAFTA that Kate’s attendance will totally distract from all the film stars there,” while another added, “Most people think William will end up getting his way by bringing Kate, but it’s created awkwardness because her attendance shouldn’t have been in question.”
BAFTA dismissed the speculation, saying: “It is completely untrue that BAFTA has suggested that our president attend on his own. We would be delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses any year they are able to attend.”
The ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry, saw La La Land win the Best Film and Emma Stone win Best Actress gongs, while Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake won the Outstanding British Film award.
I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a carpenter who is frustrated by the state welfare system after injuring himself at work.
Prince William presented The Fellowship award to Mel Brooks, who declared, “I think BAFTA has made unerringly good choices tonight, especially me. I want to thank Harvey Weinstein for having nothing to do with this award. I want apologize to the Duke and the Duchess and Prince Philip for the American Revolution. We were young.”