BAFTA president Prince William addressed viewers via a pre-recorded video message during Sunday’s ceremony where after withdrawing from of his annual appearance.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, reportedly left organizers ‘very disappointed’ with the move, which he is said to have put down to ‘diary constraints’.
In the clip, he claimed to be ‘extremely proud’ of the Academy’s Breakthrough mentoring programme, which has ‘provided opportunities and support for talented people’.
Stern: BAFTA president Prince William addressed viewers via a pre-recorded video message during Sunday’s ceremony, after withdrawing from of his annual appearance
A source told The Mirror: ‘Prince William is always a huge draw, not least as it’s the first year back in person after the pandemic.
‘But BAFTA were told that diary constraints precluded him from attending in person this year. It’s such a shame and everyone is very disappointed.’
In the one minute and 30 seconds speech, William said: ‘Hello everyone. As president of BAFTA, I’m extremely proud to see the work that BAFTA undertakes year round to provide opportunities and support for talented people to develop successful careers in films, games and television.
‘One of these programs is Breakthrough, a yearlong mentoring and guidance initiative which helps people achieve their true potential.
Awkward: It comes after his brother Prince Harry was criticized for releasing a video promoting this year’s Invictus Games just hours after confirming he won’t attend Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month
‘It’s wonderful that there are more than 30 participants from Breakthrough UK in the audience this evening.
‘Two of them, Aleem Khan and Jessie Buckley, are nominated for awards tonight.
‘They join an impressive list of young talent including Bukky Bakray and Florence Pugh, as well as Paapa Essiedu, and Ray Panthaki, who are closely involved with BAFTA nominated films.
‘BAFTA hopes to inspire and support future generations from all walks of life to become the filmmakers of the future.
Controversial: The Duke of Cambridge, 39, reportedly left organizers ‘very disappointed’ with the move, which he is said to have put down to ‘diary constraints’
‘And I hope that for some of you watching these awards, that journey starts today. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners and I wish you all a wonderful evening.’
Representatives for Kensington Palace have been contacted for comment by MailOnline.
Harry was criticized for releasing a video promoting this year’s Invictus Games just hours after confirming he won’t attend Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month.
The light-hearted footage was released just hours after he announced he would not travel to Britain to attend Prince Philip’s thanksgiving service this month.
While the Prince will not be at Westminster Abbey on March 29, his spokesman said he would attend the sports competition for wounded servicemen and women in The Hague from April 16.
Frustrated: A source said: ‘Prince William is always a huge draw, not least as it’s the first year back in person after the pandemic’
The clip shows the Duke of Sussex learning Dutch ahead of the games, before ripping off his hoodie top to reveal an all-orange outfit.
During the promo piece, which appears to have been filmed in the $14 million California mansion he shares with wife Meghan Markle and his children Archie, 2, and Lilibet, 9 months, Harry is seen telling his team he ‘really wants to get this right ‘, as he asks them how to say various phrases in Dutch.
After mastering some words, he puts on orange sunglasses and a hat, before tearing off his hoodie to reveal an orange t-shirt. Pointing down into the camera, he tells his Invictus colleagues he is ‘ready’ for the games.
Former royal chef Darren McGrady, who cooked for Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, said: ‘His grandfather would have given him a clip around the ear and told him to grow up.
Apologies: ‘But BAFTA were told that diary constraints precluded him from attending in person this year. It’s such a shame and everyone is very disappointed’
‘The Queen will be devastated, and Princess Diana would, too, if she were here.’
A source told The MoS that the Queen ‘very much wants to see Harry and Meghan’s children’, including nine-month-old Lilibet – the Monarch’s childhood nickname – whom she has never met.
Harry’s decision not to attend Philip’s service comes after he took the Government to court over its decision not to provide full police protection when he visits Britain.
The clip garnered mixed responses on Twitter, with one user branding it ‘awkward’.
They wrote: ‘Forced humor is always awkward…. And forced infantile humor for adults is worse.’
Others noted the timing of the clip, with some seemingly annoyed that Harry will not be returning for Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month, but will attend the games.
One wrote: ‘He can go to the Netherlands but not to see his own grandmother, something is not right with him.’
Another added: ‘Harry is refusing to attend his grandfather’s memorial/suing the UK Gov. for armed security but will go to the IG in the NL.’
However, numerous fans of both the Duke and the Invictus Games were among the respondents, and they praised the clip.
Oh no! Harry was criticized for releasing a video promoting this year’s Invictus Games just hours after confirming he won’t attend Prince Philip’s memorial service later this month
One wrote: ‘Orange is definitely his colour. Harry is fabulous!’
Another added: ‘My family and I are looking forward to the #InvictusGames with friends we will be cheering you on. The Invictus Games is one of Prince Harry’s best gifts to the world.’
And a third wrote: ‘This will be great! I look forward to the games and have friends who will attend! Yay!!!!’
The video came just hours after a spokesperson for Harry confirmed on Friday he would not be attending his grandfather’s Service of Thanksgiving which is due to be held at Westminster Abbey on March 29.
Experts had predicted this, after Harry’s lawyers last month told a court the prince does ‘not feel safe’ in the UK without the protection of Scotland Yard officers, during his ongoing legal battle over security.
Snazzy: The clip showed the Duke learning Dutch ahead of the games, which will take place in the Netherlands in April, before ripping off his hoodie top to reveal an all-orange outfit
Royal biographer Angela Levin has slammed the Duke as a ‘child stamping his feet’ over the decision and said the move was tantamount to ‘blackmail’, warning the Duke could use dropping out of major events at the last minute as leverage to secure personal protective security in the UK.
Levin warned that although Harry ‘has snubbed the Duke of Edinburgh but really he is snubbing the Queen’ who is still ‘grieving the loss of her husband of 73 years’ – and was only given 15 minutes advance notice of Harry’s announcement on Friday evening.
‘He has got this all wrong. If he comes over for a royal event he gets police protection. What they won’t do is, if he goes out with his friends he gets security. He’ll probably use this same excuse to try to get out of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations,’ she said.
wow! The Duke of Sussex stood up to reveal he is also wearing orange trousers in honor of the Netherlands in a promotional advert for the Invictus Games which has been branded ‘awkward’
‘It’s all about “me, me, me” rather than going out of his way for his grandmother and showing her he cares. He’s behaving like a child stamping his feet’.
A royal expert on Saturday claimed that The Queen is ‘unlikely’ to see her great-granddaughter Lilibet in person – as Prince Harry is slammed for ‘snubbing’ the monarch after he announced on Friday that he will not be returning to the UK later this month to attend the high-profile memorial marking the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, who has written extensively about the royal family, said it was a ‘great pity’ the monarch, 95, had not yet met the nine-month-old daughter of Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, who live in California, in the flesh.
So far, it is believed the Queen, who celebrates her Platinum Jubilee this year, has only met her 11th granddaughter, who is yet to travel to the UK, via video link.
Mr Fitzwilliams told The Sun: ‘I think this was expected because of the issue with security, obviously, he would have wanted to come if he could. I think it’s a great pity, what this means is it regrettable the rift will remain unhealed.’
Opening up about the Queen meeting her great-granddaughter, who is named after the monarch’s own family nickname Lilibet, he added: ‘It’s increasingly unlikely. If they don’t bring Lili over, then obviously that won’t happen.
‘It’s all something that’s clearly not going to be resolved in the foreseeable future. And it doesn’t seem like they’re going to come over.’
Tragic: A royal expert on Saturday claimed that The Queen (right) is ‘unlikely’ to see her great-granddaughter Lilibet in person – as Prince Harry is slammed for ‘snubbing’ the monarch (pictured in 2018 with wife Megan, left)