Leaving his pregnant wife, Kate Middleton, to recover at home from acute morning sickness, Prince William flew solo as he attended the royal UK premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in London's Leicester Square on Wednesday night.
The Prince walked the "green carpet" with the cinema's general manager Tessa Street and confessed that the Duchess of Cambridge "would have loved to have been here if she could".
"It's really exciting to have his support for the film and the charity. I was a bit nervous being on my own to meet him, but he was very friendly," Tessa admitted. "I passed on my best wishes to Kate and he said 'She would have loved to have been here if she could'. He also commented on the green carpet and the staging."
The 65th royal film screening was in aid of The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, which supports those who have worked in a paid position within the film industry in the UK for at least two years and who have been affected by illness, bereavement, accident or unemployment.
William also spoke to the film's director Sir Peter Jackson and stars including Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Cate Blanchett.
Joking with Australian star Cate, he said: "When I go to Australia I'm always winding up the Kiwis and vice versa, you always get a reaction." The 43-year-old star set flashbulbs popping as she strutted down the carpet.
Cate dazzled in a long-sleeved winter-white Givenchy Spring 2013 gown which protected her from the near-freezing temperatures. She completed her look with a Givenchy envelope clutch and quirky heels.
The mother-of-three, who plays elf queen Galadriel, joked about the cold. "The weather is enough to drive anyone away but it is great to see so many fans," she said. Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis and Office star Martin Freeman, who plays the main character Bilbo Baggins in the JRR Tolkien adaptation, all looked dapper in suits.
They full cast were joined by showbiz figures including boyband McFly and X Factor host Demort O'Leary and his wife Dee Koppang. Sir Ian, who plays the wizard Gandalf, said it was great to be in London for a film with a strong British presence. He added: "Its cast is basically British and from the Commonwealth, Tolkien was an English writer, here we are in the capital city and it feels proper. "Olympic long jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford was among the celebrities attending, along with singer Nick Cave.