Her Majesty The Queen has been awarded an honorary Bafta for her lifelong support of the British film and TV industries.
Actor Sir Kenneth Branagh presented the Queen with her award last night at a gala event held at Windsor Castle.
More than 300 guests representing all areas of film and TV attended the bash, including actors, writers, directors, producers, designers, critics and publicists.
Among the guests were Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, actors Sir Ian McKellen and Damian Lewis, and Star Wars director George Lucas, who’d flown over especially to attend the ceremony.
Bafta chairman John Willis joked that the monarch was “the most memorable Bond girl yet,” in reference to her filmed skit with Daniel Craig that aired at the start of the London 2012 Olympics, and said: “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.”
Sir Kenneth then took to the stage to praise the Queen for her “especially memorable” Olympics appearance, before joking: “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.”
During the course of the evening, George Lucas praised the British film industry for getting back on its feet over the last few decades. He said: “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.
“Many, many years ago Britain didn’t support the film industry and when I came here it was on its last legs and fortunately now it’s a lot steadier.”