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Prince William makes surprise BAFTA appearance after bowing out of ceremony

The Duke of Cambridge is President of BAFTA

Prince William made a virtual appearance at the 2022 BAFTA awards ceremony on Sunday night, after not being able to attend in person. The Duke of Cambridge, who usually attends the biggest night in British film with his wife Kate, gave a televised address to attendees at the Royal Albert Hall and viewers tuning in from home.

"Good evening everyone," William said at the start of his speech. "As President of BAFTA, I am extremely proud to see the work that BAFTA undertakes year-round to provide opportunities and support for talented people to develop successful careers in film, games and television."

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He continued: "One of these programmes is Breakthrough, a year-long mentoring and guidance initiative which helps people achieve their true potential.

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WATCH: Prince William makes surprise BAFTA appearance

"It’s wonderful that there are more than thirty participants from Breakthrough UK in the audience this evening. Two of them, Aleem Khan and Jessie Buckley, are nominated for awards tonight. They join an impressive list of young talent, including Bukky Bakray and Florence Pugh, as well as Paapa Essiedu and Ray Panthaki who are closely involved with BAFTA-nominated films.

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READ: See the complete list of BAFTA winners here

"BAFTA hopes to inspire and support future generations from all walks of life to become the filmmakers of the future. And I hope that for some of those watching these awards, that journey starts today."

William concluded: "Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. I wish you all a wonderful evening." The future King usually attends the ceremony and walks the red carpet with Kate but this year the couple sadly had to decline their invite due to "diary constraints".

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William made a virtual appearance at the 2022 ceremony

Last year during the 2021 virtual ceremony, William was due to record a video speech but was also forced to pull out after his grandfather Prince Philip suddenly passed away. It was the first time William had missed the prestigious ceremony since his appointment as president of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts in 2010.

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Rebel Wilson hosted this year's ceremony and earlier on Sunday descended on the red carpet alongside other glamorous A-Listers including Emma Watson, Lady Gaga, Caitriona Balfe and Salma Hayek.

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