BAFTA 2021: Prince William drops out of virtual appearances following Prince Philip's death
William is the current President of the BAFTAs
“In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of BAFTA programming this weekend. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time," BAFTA organisers said in a statement.
Prince William, who along with his wife, Duchess Catherine, is a fixture at every BAFTA ceremony was scheduled to appear in a pre-recorded video conversation at Saturday night’s craft awards with three-time BAFTA-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan and make up and hair designer Sharon Martin to talk about the struggles of filming in lockdown and various aspects of filmmaking.
William was reportedly also expected to deliver a speech at the main film awards via a virtual link. However both his appearances have been canceled as the royal family mourns the death of Prince Philip, who was himself the first president of BAFTA in 1959.
The opening night of BAFTA was hosted virtually by radio and TV presenter Clara Amfo who opened the show by reading a tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh.
"On behalf of BAFTA, we are extremely sadden by the passing of Prince Philip….The duke was BAFTA’s very first president……Prince Philip and her majesty's the Queen's support over these years….has allowed BAFTA to be here today in 2021. The duke of Edinburgh occupies a very special place in BAFTA history and he will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family," the tribute read.