Queen Honoured With Bafta Award for Film and TV Support

BBC News, 4 April 2013

The Queen has received an honorary Bafta for her lifelong support of the British film and television industry. The actor Sir Kenneth Branagh presented her with the award in a star-studded gala at Windsor Castle.

Bafta chairman John Willis described the monarch as "the most memorable Bond girl yet" - a reference to her cameo in the London Olympics opening ceremony.

Hollywood director George Lucas, who flew in especially for the event, said the UK had been influential for him.

Mr Willis said: "We should be proud of our industry. The people here this evening represent a vast variety of skills and ground breaking innovation, they have entertained and informed a generation and inspired generations to come.

"I am delighted that this evening has given us the opportunity to give something back. I have the great honour to announce that we are to present Her Majesty with an honorary Bafta today, in recognition of her outstanding patronage of the film and television industries."

The Queen, who attended with the Duke of Edinburgh, featured with Daniel Craig as James Bond at London 2012 - when she appeared to parachute from a helicopter.

To laughter from the audience, Sir Kenneth said: "Your sensational appearance at the opening ceremony of last year's Olympics was especially memorable.

"So much so that several of my colleagues here tonight want you to know that should you wish to take it further into the world of British films that they have a number of scripts with them here this evening. I have to warn you, Your Majesty, not all of these films are fully financed."

The 300 guests represented all areas of the industry including actors, directors, writers, producers, costume and set designers, publicists and critics.

Homeland star Damian Lewis, who attended the event with his actress wife Helen McCrory, said: "The arts and film industry punch above their weight with little funding. "Our arts in this country and theatre and film and TV are some of our greatest exports, to have that recognised by your monarch is important."

The monarch was praised for her "outstanding patronage" of British film and television. Comedian Billy Connolly attended the reception as did director Terry Gilliam, actress Minnie Driver and actor Idris Elba.

Actor John Hurt also commented on the Queen's appearance at the Olympics. "It was a bit of good fun, I thought so - good on her," he said. Hurt revealed he had come to the event from filming 'Doctor Who', for its 50th anniversary, in Cardiff.

Lucas said: "I've been here since '75 so for me this is my second home. It's been very influential for me, I've shot lots of movies here not only four of the 'Star Wars' films but also 'Indiana Jones', all kinds of films - it's been a long road." He added: "Many, many years ago Britain didn't support the film industry and when I came here it was on its last legs and fortunately now it's a lot steadier."

At the Scene - Sophie Tall, BBC News

Braving the snow and freezing temperatures, the likes of Sir Ian McKellen and Julian Fellows admitted that they didn't know what the evening had in store, but were glad to be there.

They were in for a surprise. The Queen received an honorary Bafta for her enduring support of the British film industry. Presenting her with the award, Sir Kenneth Branagh said if the Queen should wish to venture further into the film industry there were plenty of people here this evening with scripts offering marvellous parts.

Actress Minnie Driver admitted to being nervous meeting the Queen and had flown over from the US especially.

Writer Richard Curtis quipped that he went to school near the castle but was never allowed in, so they went to the Golden Egg instead. It was, he said, marvellous to be allowed inside the golden castle.

Back to Articles Listing | Back to the Compendium