By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 21, 2010 at 8:12AM
In advance of tonight's Orange British Academy Film Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) have announced that Prince William will succeed Lord Attenborough as their fifth President. In his first formal act as President, Prince William will present the actor Vanessa Redgrave with a British Academy Fellowship during the BAFTA Awards tonight.
Prince William’s Presidency of BAFTA follows in a long line of Royal Family involvement with the Academy and its predecessors. The Duke of Edinburgh served as BAFTA’s first President in 1959, and in 1972 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh donated a share of the royalties from the film ‘The Royal Family’ to BAFTA’s new headquarters in London. Other BAFTA Presidents have included The Princess Royal and Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
“The Academy has had a long association with the Royal Family and we are absolutely delighted that HRH Prince William has agreed to become our President," David Parfitt, Chair of BAFTA, said in a statement. "Our outgoing President, Lord Attenborough, who has been the most extraordinary supporter of the Academy, extended the invitation to Prince William himself and he is as thrilled as I am that he accepted.”