Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Queen honoured with Bafta award

The Queen receives an honorary Bafta from Sir Kenneth Branagh
The Queen was given the Bafta in recognition of a lifetime's support of British film and television
Sir Kenneth Branagh raises a smile from the Queen during the glittering reception at Windsor Castle

The Queen has received an honorary Bafta in recognition of a lifetime's support of British film and television - and for being the most "memorable Bond girl yet".

Hollywood star Sir Kenneth Branagh presented the award during a glittering Windsor Castle reception attended by stars of stage, screen and television celebrating their industry.

John Willis, chairman of Bafta, drew laughter from the audience when he referred to the Queen's role alongside James Bond during the opening ceremony of the Olympics - when she appeared to parachute into the stadium with 007.

Mr Willis said in a short speech: "We should be proud of our industry. The people here this evening represent a vast variety of skills and ground breaking innovation; they have entertained and informed a generation and inspired generations to come."

He told the audience who included the Duke of Edinburgh: "I am delighted that this evening has given us the opportunity to give something back. I have the great honour to announce that we are to present Her Majesty with an honorary Bafta today, in recognition of her outstanding patronage of the film and television industries."

The former award-winning television documentary director, now chief executive of the independent television production company Mentorn Media, highlighted the monarch's support for British film and television.

Mr Willis said: "The Queen has been patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Entertainment Artistes' Benevolent Fund and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund - for which money is raised by Royal Film Performances - since 1952 ... lending her tireless support to our efforts."

He added: "More recently Her Majesty the Queen starred at the London Olympics as the most memorable Bond girl yet."

Sir Kenneth kept up the theme of the Queen's unexpected movie appearance at London 2012's opening night when he gave his presentation speech.

To laughter from his audience he told the Queen: "Your sensational appearance at the opening ceremony of last year's Olympics was especially memorable."

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