Here's why Prince William and Kate Middleton skipped the past two BAFTA ceremonies

Prince William and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sunday evening saw the 2023 BAFTAs, with the 76th British Academy Film Awards celebrating the past year in film. 

Among the big winners of the night were Austin Butler and Cate Blanchett, with The Banshees of Inisherin and All Quiet on the Western Front emerging as the night's most victorious.

A-listers flocked from far and wide to the BAFTAs red carpet to attend the ceremony at London's Southbank Centre, hosted by Richard E. Grant and Alison Hammond. 

Also in attendance were royalty, as William and Kate, the Prince and Princess of Wales, made an official appearance. 

Prince William's presence at the 2023 ceremony is hardly surprising, given that he has been the President of BAFTA since 2010. But on closer inspection, the now Prince and Princess of Wales actually missed the past two award ceremonies. 

So, why did Prince William and Princess Kate miss the BAFTAs in 2021 and 2022?

The reasons behind their absences are actually very simple, with the Prince and Princess forced to pull out of their 2021 attendance following the death of Prince Philip, and declining the invitation in 2022 due to diary constraints.

The royal couple attended the festivities this weekend for the first time since 2020 - a particularly important event, as it marked the first BAFTAs since the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The BAFTAs paid a touching tribute to the late monarch, with Dame Helen Mirren reciting a speech in her memory where she thanked The Queen for all she had done for the film and TV industry.

“She was unquestionably the nation’s leading lady but as mysterious as a silent film star," read the tribute. “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”.

"Congratulations to all of this year's wonderful and worthy Bafta winners!" the Prince and Princess of Wales posted to Instagram, following the ceremony. "A special evening celebrating the best of cinema and the next generation of British talent both in front of and behind the camera."

Follow our BAFTA coverage in full @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.