The Duchess cut an impeccably stylish figure as she arrived to a sea of camera flashes as the Cambridges walked the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall.
Prince William has been President of the Academy since 2010, and both he and the Duchess have supported BAFTA’s charitable activities by attending events across the charity’s learning programme, including Young Game Designers and BAFTA Kids events, as well as others related to building cross-cultural collaborations with the creative industries in China. As it is the awards' 70th year - it seems very fitting for the couple to be there.
Ahead of the event, Kensington Palace noted: "While BAFTA is well known for celebrating excellence and championing creativity through its awards, it is a charity committed to identifying talented individuals, and making sure they receive the encouragement, professional support and advice that will enable them to succeed, regardless of their background or other circumstances. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round learning and new talent programme, including a campaign to support young people from all backgrounds entering the film, television and games industries, which the Duke of Cambridge helped relaunch in 2013, and a scholarships programme, which features the 'Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Games'.
The glittering BAFTA Awards is a star-studded celebration of achievements in film, commending the finest performances and movies of the year. One of the biggest nights on the entertainment calendar, the stars came out to see who would take home the coveted awards. Winning a BAFTA (as with the Golden Globes) is often seen as a precursor to the Academy Awards. Leading films include musical La La Land with eleven nominations, whilst Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, both starring Amy Adams, have nine each.
The couple were greeted by BAFTA CEO Amanda Barry.
William and Kate met BAFTA representatives before watching the ceremony.
The couple sat in the audience near the nominees and Amanda Berry. Their private secretaries Rebecca Deacon and Miguel Head sat behind them.
Presenters and other attendees at the ceremony were Andrea Riseborough, Bryce Dallas Howard, Carmen Ejogo, Daisy Ridley, Eddie Redmayne, Ella Purnell, Ewen Bremner, Felicity Jones, George MacKay, Holliday Grainger, Isabelle Huppert, Jamie Dornan, Julia Stiles, Lin Manuel Miranda, Luke Evans, Sir Mark Rylance, Noomi Rapace, Penelope Cruz, Sophie Turner, Stanley Tucci and Thandie Newton.
The ceremony was hosted by Stephen Fry who started the show with a humorous opening..
..William and Kate laughed when Stephen Fry welcomed the couple "especially the Duchess who will be such a support to her husband who after watching an episode of 'Who Do You Think You Are' is still recovering from the devastating news that he is related to actor Danny Dyer' :)
Prince William presented the Fellowship, which is presented annually at the awards, and is the highest accolade bestowed by the Academy to an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games. This year American actor, filmmaker and comedian Mel Brooks was the recipient.
More on the BAFTAs' royal connections:
'Prince William's appointment as president follows a long tradition of royal involvement with the academy. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the first President of the Society of Film and Television Arts (SFTA) in 1959 to 1965, followed by Earl Mountbatten of Burma and the Princess Royal, who was its President from 1972 to 2001. It was the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's generous donation of their share of profits from the film Royal Family that enabled the academy to move to its headquarters at 195 Piccadilly. The Duke of Cambridge succeeded Lord (Richard) Attenborough to become the academy's fifth president in its history.'
Indeed, just last night the stars gathered at Kensington Palace for the pre-awards nominees party (how elegant is Amy Adams' Chanel dress?).
The BAFTA award trophy is a mask designed by American sculptor, Mitzi Cunliffe. When the Guild merged with the British Film Academy to become the Society of Film and Television Arts, later the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the first 'BAFTA award' was presented to Sir Charles Chaplin on his Academy Fellowship that year.
The big winner of the night was La La Land. You can view the full list of winners here.
Now, time to chat about Kate's look for the night! Since KP announced the Duke and Duchess would be attending we had very much hoped to see a new gown and sparkling jewels - and our wish was granted. Kate looked stunning in a gorgeous off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen black gown with floral print and tiered skirt. The gown had a very couture feel to it; fresh, modern yet understated. I suspect Kate and Sarah Burton collaborated closely on this one incorporating the original design with HRH's newly favoured off-the-shoulder cut. The original Long Tier Violet Jacquard Gown retailed for $7000 and can be viewed here.
A closer look at the floral print.
More on McQueen's Resort 2016 Collection from Vogue:
'If Alexander McQueen's fall collection had an elegantly dying autumn in mind for Sarah Burton, she was thinking of Resort as "romance, beauty, positivity, flowers blooming." Sweet pea, hollyhocks, violets, butterflies flying around a garden in springtime…all of that was stitched onto extraordinary tulle evening dresses, sheaths of fragility.'
Kate sparkled in a dazzling pair of large statement pink (diamond?) earrings.
The amazing Anna quickly noticed Kate has had the pair for a number of years, first wearing them to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds Gala in 2011. As for their provenance, Rebecca English spoke to the Palace and was told they are not on loan from the Queen; they didn't reveal any further information. Perhaps a wedding gift? Kate certainly saved these for a special occasion for their first proper public debut!
It appears Kate also wore the Queen's wedding gift bracelet, which Prince Philip gave to the Queen. It is encrusted with diamonds from a tiara which belonged to Philip's mother. Kate was first loaned the piece for the Chinese state banquet in 2015.
With thanks to Patricia and Packham Gown on Twitter, it looks like Kate may have worn her Prada Wavy-Cut Suede Nero Pumps. The chic shoes feature a pointed toe, wavy cutouts and a smooth outsole.
Food Fash Fit suggests Kate carried the $2,075 Alexander McQueen Heart-Clasp Satin Box Clutch. It's described: "Alexander McQueen's black satin clutch is a sure-fire way to polish an event look. It's crafted to a box shape that's set around a gold-tone metal frame and features a two-tone, heart-shaped metal clasp that glimmers with sparkling red crystals and faux-pearls."
A look at Kate's updo.
A wonderful look for the Duchess; I love the gown, and with the jewels, updo, shoes and clutch it was perfectly accessorised. Another observation from tonight: Kate looked incredibly happy and was beaming in almost every photo - and her smile of course is her best accessory! What do you think of tonight's look? I imagine the gown could prove a divisive one as it's a departure for the Duchess in some ways.
We'll see you on Tuesday when Kate will visit an RAF base in Cambridgeshire to meet with local air cadets.