The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall rubbed shoulders with the stars of the film 1917 as they stepped out for the Royal Film Performance on Wednesday. The royal couple were all smiles as they walked the red carpet at Leicester Square’s Odeon Luxe to be met by John Pike and Alex Pumfrey, Chairman and CEO of The Film and TV Charity, which benefits from the event.
WATCH: Charles and Camilla arrive at the 1917 premiere
Inside, they met supporters and trustees of the charity and 1917’s Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, who also wrote and produced the film.
Camilla, elegant in a floor-length black velvet evening gown by Bruce Oldfield, told Sam and producers including BAFTA chairman Pippa Harris: “It’s very exciting, it’s had very good reviews.”
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall looked immaculate
They also chatted to the film's stars George Mackay, Dean-Charles Chapman, Andrew Scott, Richard Madden, Mark Strong and Claire Duburcq. Asked by the Prince how he was feeling at the premiere, Mark Strong joked: “I’ve done a few, I’m getting on a bit!”
The royal couple were then presented with programmes by Celia Chapman, the 11-year-old sister of Dean-Charles Chapman, and Issy, eight, whose five-year-old sister Jess gave the Duchess a posy. The young sisters and their family have been supported by the Film and TV charity. All three girls curtseyed in turn, prompting the Duchess to say: “Oh my goodness, a lot of good curtseys tonight!” Pointing to Jess’s sparkly silver footwear, she told her: “I like your shoes!”
Other famous faces in the audiences included singing star Elaine Paige, actress and model Lily Cole and actor Ed Westwick, who plays Chuck Bass in the US TV show Gossip Girl.
1917 tells the story of two young British soldiers in WW1 - Schofield, played by George Mackay, and Blake, played by Dean Charles Chapman - as they take on a seemingly impossible mission.
They race across enemy territory to take a message to try to stop a deadly attack on hundreds of soldiers, including Blake’s own brother.
The plot was inspired by Sam Mendes’ grandfather Alfred Mendes, an acclaimed Trinidadian novelist, who spent two years fighting for Britain on the Belgian front in WW1.
The film will have been particularly poignant for Camilla, as three of her great uncles, Harry, Alick and Hugh Cubitt, were killed in the conflict.
The premiere is the 71st Royal Film Performance delivered by The Film and TV Charity in its almost 100-year history. The charity supports those working behind the scenes of the film, television and cinema industry in the UK - from research to writing, through casting and production, to editing, sales, distribution and exhibition.
Proceeds from the premiere will help the charity to develop programmes to improve mental health support for workers and run service like its Film and TV Support Line, a free, 24/7 helpline for issues including debt, depression and harassment.
The Queen has been Patron of The Film and TV Charity since 1952. Charles is patron of the British Film Institute and President of the Royal Television Society. He and Camilla last attended a Royal Film Performance in 2015, when they joined the stars of The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Alex Pumfrey, CEO, said “We’re honoured to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to what will be the 71st Royal Film Performance, shining a light on everyone working behind the scenes of the UK’s thriving film and television industry.”
“The funds raised at this event will mean that we can continue to support the dedicated people working in film and TV with services like our 24 hour Support Line, talent awards and hardship grants.”
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