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Baftas viewers moved by Prince William’s reaction to Helen Mirren’s tribute to Queen

Prince William’s emotional response to Helen Mirren’s tribute to Queen Elizabeth II during the 76th annual Bafta Awards has moved viewers.

On Sunday, Mirren, who won a Bafta for her portrayal of the late monarch in 2006’s biographical drama The Queen, paid tribute to the Queen after her death last year at the age of 96.

“Cinema at its best does what Her Majesty did effortlessly - bring us together and unite us through a story. Your Majesty, you were our nation’s leading star,” Mirren said, before noting that “Bafta would not be what it is today without her loyal support”.

Mirren acknowledged the Queen’s decades-long association with the Academy, during which 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 actress said.

The heartfelt speech appeared to touch the Prince and Princess of Wales, who attended the show as guests of honour, and appeared tearful at the conclusion of Mirren’s tribute.

William and Kate’s reactions were captured in a video shared to TikTok, where they’re seen sitting in the audience and clapping.

“The Prince of Wales’ reaction to Queen Elizabeth being mentioned at the Baftas this evening,” the caption on the video reads. “Feel bad for him.”

The video, which has since been viewed more than one million times, has sparked an outpouring of supportive comments from viewers. Many shared that they were particularly moved by William’s reaction.

“Aww he looks like he wants to cry,” one person suggested, while another said: “His response made my eyes leak.”

“Bless him, he looked close to tears about his beloved granny!” someone else claimed.

Others suggested that Kate also appeared close to tears, with one viewer claiming that “both of them were choked up”. “Understandably so,” they added.

“The raw sorrow is still so evidently painful for them,” another said of the pair’s reaction to the tribute.

In addition to Mirren’s tribute to the Queen, the British Academy issued a statement reflecting on its long relationship with the late monarch.

“The Queen occupies a unique place in Baftas history, a close association that spanned 50 years. Through her various patronages, the Queen was renowned for her support of the UK’s creative industries,” the statement said.

William and Kate’s attendance at the show marked the first time the royal couple has attended the annual British film awards since 2020. They were prevented from attending the ceremony in recent years due to the pandemic and Prince Philip’s death in 2021.

The royal couple also engaged in a rare public display of affection while walking the red carpet.

Prince William has served as the president of Bafta since 2010, a position that was previously held by Prince Philip from 1959 to 1965.