William steps down from Bafta ceremonies after grandfather’s death

William steps down from Bafta ceremonies after grandfather’s death
The Duke of Cambridge will miss the Baftas after his grandfather’s death (PA)

Bafta president the Duke of Cambridge has withdrawn from this weekend’s Bafta awards ceremonies following his grandfather’s death, Kensington Palace has confirmed.

The Duke of Edinburgh was Bafta’s first president, serving from 1959 to 1965, and continued to support the organisation throughout his life.

A formal period of mourning has yet to be announced by Buckingham Palace but with his grandfather dying just a day before the event, the duke’s decision was expected.

Bafta said in a statement issued on Friday: “We are deeply saddened by the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, whose close association with the Academy spanned over 60 years.”

William was due to feature during the event on Saturday in a pre-recorded conversation with costume designer Jenny Beavan and make-up and hair designer Sharon Martin talking about filming in lockdown and the craft of film-making.

On Sunday the duke was due to deliver a speech, via video, celebrating the resilience of the film industry over the past year.

The Bafta film awards will be presented this weekend, in largely virtual ceremonies without the winners and nominees present.

The craft awards will be celebrated on Saturday on BBC Two in a ceremony hosted by Clara Amfo.

The main show on Sunday will be hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Edith Bowman, when the remaining 17 awards will be presented and director Ang Lee will be honoured with the Bafta Fellowship.

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