Here's why Prince William and Kate Middleton skipped two of the most recent BAFTA ceremonies

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

This weekend sees the 2024 BAFTAs, with the 77th British Academy Film Awards set to celebrate the past year in film. 

Among the most nominated films of this year's BAFTAs are Oppenheimer and Poor Things with 13 and 11 nominations respectively, and Killers of the Flower Moon and The Zone of Interest with nine nominations each. Also in the running are Anatomy of a Fall, The Holdovers and Maestro, with seven nominations a-piece, All of Us Strangers with six nominations, and Barbie and Saltburn with five nods each.

The ceremony, hosted this year by David Tennant, annually sees a host of A-listers and royalty descend on the red carpet, with Kate and William, the Prince and Princess of Wales, having attended multiple time in the past, including last year.

Prince William's presence at the 2023 ceremony was hardly surprising, given that he has been the President of BAFTA since 2010. But on closer inspection, the Prince and Princess of Wales haven't attended every year, actually missing the two award ceremonies previously. 

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 last year 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 this year's 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.