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William and Kate top up procession of celebs at 76th BAFTA Film Awards

London, Feb 20 (IANS) The 2023 BAFTA Film Awards kicked off at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday evening with the arrival of the Prince and Princess of Wales (William and Kate) on the red carpet, reports ‘Variety’.

The royals were the last to arrive, says ‘Variety’, following a parade of nominees, presenters and guests, notably Michelle Yeoh, Eddie Redmayne, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana DeBose and Daryl Mccormack.

Kate paired a floor-length white Alexander McQueen dress, which she has worn previously, with black gloves and gold earrings. When the royal couple walked in, many of the people gathered outside shouted “We love you, Kate”.

Other attendees on the red carpet included Angela Bassett, Jessica Henwick, Patrick Stewart, Emma Thompson and fashion designer Vera Wang.

Yeoh, Curtis, Bassett, McCormack and Henwick were among the stars battling it out for an award, with Yeoh and Curtis nominated for their turns in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, Bassett was in the running for Best Supporting Actress for ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ and Henwick nominated for her short ‘Bus Girl’.

McCormack was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’ and co-star Thompson for Best Actress.

DeBose won last year for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘West Side Story’ and Redmayne for a Best Actor gong in 2014 for ‘The Theory of Everything’.

Inside the hall, BAFTA welcomed the largest number of guests to ever attend the ceremony in a slightly more cramped setting than years past, notes ‘Variety’. But all was forgotten the moment DeBose set foot on stage, bringing down the house with a show-stopping song-and-dance number that set an uplifting, youthful tone for the awards that hasn’t exactly been the norm at the BAFTAs.

Inside the auditorium, guests remarked on the new venue, where a number of drinks receptions were organised across the Royal Festival Hall’s many floors. Most couldn’t help but draw comparisons to the grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall, the stately home of the film awards in previous years.

But the prospect of not having to hop on a bus or cab to attend the post-ceremony dinner is appealing to most people (since it will also be held inside the venue), and there’s a modern, intimate feeling to the Southbank that’s promising, adds ‘Variety’.