Prince Philip's death has cast a somber mood over the U.K. this year, with the latest tribute coming from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or the BAFTAs. The 74th annual BAFTAs were held over two nights, landing on this weekend, and the passing of Philip made this year's awards carry heightened importance.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Philip was the first president of the organization, serving from 1959 to 1965, paving the way for other royals to follow him. Prince William serves as the president today, though he was absent from the 2021 ceremony due to the loss of his grandfather. BAFTAs Saturday night host Clara Amfo led with this statement honoring the late prince during the show.
"Tonight we want to say on behalf of BAFTA that we are extremely saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday," host Clara Amfo said during the ceremony on Saturday. "The Duke was BAFTA's very first president over 60 years ago, and was the first in a line of royal patronages all the way through to BAFTA's current president, his grandson, the Duke of Cambridge."
"It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen's support throughout these years that in many ways allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times and to be here today in 2021 celebrating another outstanding year of achievement in film," Amfo continued. "The Duke of Edinburgh occupies a very special place in BAFTA history. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with the royal family."
Sunday co-host Edith Bowman, alongside Dermot O'Leary, continued the tribute to the late royal, adding that Prince Philip "occupies a very special place in BAFTA's history, and our thoughts are with the royal family."
The Royal Family is currently following Queen Elizabeth II's order to observe two weeks of mourning, starting April 9. This puts a halt on all royal duties, affairs of state and anything else lingering. That would be why William was absent from the event despite previously planning an appearance. According to ET, the first eight days will be followed by ten days of mourning for the entire nation. The funeral for Prince Philip will occur on April 17 at 3 p.m. at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The entire Royal Family will be in attendance, including Prince Harry who arrived in the U.K. today after some speculation. His wife, Meghan Markle, will not be making the trip with him due to her pregnancy and a doctor not clearing the travel.