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The Queen honoured by BAFTA for film and TV support

Story by Jack Foley

THE Queen has received an honorary Bafta for her lifelong support of the British film and television industry.

A special presentation took place on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at Windsor Gala in a star-studded gala that saw Her Royal Highness presented with her award by actor Sir Kenneth Branagh.

Some 300 guests representing all areas of the industry, including actors, directors, writers, producers, costume and set designers, publicists and critics, attended the event to show their appreciation for The Queen’s efforts.

Among those, Star Wars creator George Lucas flew in especially for the event, while Homeland‘s Damian Lewis, director Terry Gilliam, comedian Billy Connolly, actress Minnie Driver and actors Idris Elba and John Hurt were also in attendance.

Lucas, who spoke at the ceremony, acknowledged the role that the UK continues to play in filmmaking, saying: “I’ve been here since ’75 so for me this is my second home. It’s been very influential for me. I’ve shot lots of movies here – not only four of the Star Wars films but also Indiana Jones, all kinds of films – it’s been a long road.”

Sir Kenneth drew laughter from the audience when he also paid tribute to The Queen for her appearance during the opening ceremony to last year’s Olympics, during which she appeared in a segment featuring Daniel Craig’s 007.

He joked: “Your sensational appearance at the opening ceremony of last year’s Olympics was especially memorable. So much so that several of my colleagues here tonight want you to know that should you wish to take it further into the world of British films that they have a number of scripts with them here this evening. I have to warn you, Your Majesty, not all of these films are fully financed.”

Bafta chairman John Willis also alluded to that memorable moment during the ceremony, cheekily describing her as “the most memorable Bond girl yet”, before adding:

“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.

“I am delighted that this evening has given us the opportunity to give something back. 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.”

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