BAFTA has paid a touching tribute to Prince Philip ahead of tonight's ceremony

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Tonight sees the 2021 BAFTA awards, with the two-part celebration of film and television hosted this year by Dermot O'Leary and Edith Bowman.

Host Clara Amfo opened the Saturday show with a BAFTA tribute to Prince Philip, who was the first ever President of the organisation.

‘Tonight we want to say on behalf of BAFTA that we are extremely saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.

‘The Duke was BAFTA’s very first president over 60 years ago, and was the first in a line of royal patronages all the way through to BAFTA's current president, his grandson, the Duke of Cambridge.’

She continued: ‘It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen's support throughout these years that in many ways allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times and to be here today in 2021 celebrating another outstanding year of achievement in film.

‘The Duke of Edinburgh occupies a very special place in BAFTA history. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with the royal family.’

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As President of BAFTA, Prince William was expected to make an appearance during the virtual ceremony, but following the death of Prince Philip, his appearance was cancelled.

‘In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of BAFTA programming this weekend,’ BAFTA announced in a statement. ‘Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.’

The BAFTAs are set to take place tonight at 7pm.

Our thoughts are with the royal family.

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.