The BAFTAs has paid a powerful tribute to The Queen and it's going viral

"Our nation's leading star"

Prince William Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tonight sees the 76th British Academy Film Awards, with A-listers flocking to the BAFTA red carpet from far and wide to celebrate the past year in film.

Hosted by Richard E. Grant and held at London's Southbank Centre, the 2023 awards celebrated the achievements of major players in TV and film this past year, with costume designer Sandy Powell taking home the prestigious Fellowship Award

The biggest honour of the night however was given to the late Queen Elizabeth II, as the award ceremony paid a powerful tribute to the monarch, who tragically passed away last year.

The tribute was paid by Dame Helen Mirren, who delivered a beautiful speech dedicated to the late Queen, with the Prince and Princess of Wales watching from the front row. 

“She was unquestionably the nation’s leading lady but as mysterious as a silent film star," announced Dame Helen Mirren. “Who else could meet the world’s most famous singers, actors and performers and turn them into her supporting cast.

“Throughout her 70-year reign, she met cinema’s greatest icons and witnessed the evolution of Hollywood’s golden age to the birth of the blockbuster - Her Majesty was front row for it all."

The tribute continued: "Cinema at its best does what Her Majesty did effortlessly: bring us together and unite us in a story. Your Majesty, you were our nation’s leading star. On behalf of Bafta, thank you for all that you have done for our film and television industry”.

Prince William Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The tribute also went on to reference the fact that The Queen herself was a BAFTA winner, receiving an honourary BAFTA in 2013 for her "tireless support" for the industry.

BAFTA's chairman at the time, John Willis, announced: "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.

"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."

Follow our 2023 BAFTA coverage @MarieClaireUK

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.