The Duke of Cambridge opened a new BAFTA exhibition in Piccadilly on Monday morning and got the chance to view iconic British film and television pieces.
The ‘Behind the Screens’ exhibition features costumes, scripts, storyboards, and other relevant pieces from series and films including Killing Eve, The Clangers, 12 Years a Slave, Capernaum, The Favourite, Lumino City, and Monument Valley.
“Over the next two years, the stories on display will change on a rolling, evolving programme to reflect a broad range of crafts, awards categories and genres,” BAFTA said.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is one of William’s oldest patronages with him taking on the role in 2010. He and Kate have attended the BAFTA film awards for the past three years and a scholarship for aspiring entertainers has been presented in his name since 2013.
“We are excited to be launching BAFTA Piccadilly, the first time a BAFTA café and exhibition have been open to the public,” BAFTA’s Chief Executive, Amanda Berry OBE, said.
“The venue….will inspire future generations and emerging talent, as well as those who are interested in and want to discover more about film, games and television.”
During his visit to BAFTA Piccadilly, William met with artists connected to the exhibition as well as the scholars who have received the Prince William Scholarships in Film, Television and Gaming.
When he met with Killing Eve’s producer and costume designer, he revealed that he watches the show and was presented with a pair of the children’s pyjamas sported by Jodie Comer’s character, Villanelle, in the second season.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, Killing Eve’s producer Sally Woodward Gentle said that, “Apparently he has watched it all. We didn’t test him, but he did say it was quite a final ending to series two. So at least he watched the last three minutes of the last episode!”
She continued, “He said he loved it. He talked about the dark humour of it, and Jodie and Sandra [Oh], how amazing they both are. And he talked about the humour you can get through the costumes, which is what [Killing Eve costume designer Phoebe de Gaye] is so clever at.”
Woodward Gentle also revealed that the pyjamas—which in the show are comically small on Comer’s frame—are meant to be worn small, should William or Kate want to try them on.
“We had them made up especially for the show. We had a few made up, and that’s the last pair left.”
William also met with the son of The Clangers creator, Dan Postgate, who helped revive the show for new audiences. Postgate presented William with a hand-knitted Clanger for Princess Charlotte, and William responded with, “I’ve made enough Clangers, so this will go down extremely well.”
William also met British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who has appeared in 12 Years a Slave and Doctor Strange. Ejiofor told reporters that, “We were talking about BAFTA, and how incredible an institution it is, and how excited I have been through my career to work with BAFTA.”
William gave a speech to mark the occasion, as BAFTA Piccadilly will also serve as BAFTA headquarters over the next two years as its main offices undergo a renovation. The Duke of Cambridge said:
”It is my huge pleasure to join you all today in this wonderful new space to officially launch BAFTA Piccadilly and to open the BAFTA: Behind the Screens exhibition. I am pleased that I had the opportunity to meet some of the fantastic British talent who were instrumental in creating the iconic works on display in the exhibition. I felt quite underdressed when stood in front of those Killing Eve costumes!
“BAFTA is an excellent British institution, and a unique charity with a truly global reach. My family’s close relationship with BAFTA dates back to 1959, when my grandfather was appointed as its first President.
“I have been privileged through my role as President over the last 9 years to have experienced first-hand the impact of its work in the UK, the US and Asia, celebrating excellence and nurturing the next generation of talent.
“I had the pleasure of meeting some of BAFTA’s Prince William Scholars just now, and was delighted to hear first-hand how the scholarship has benefitted their careers. BAFTA’s ambitious plans to expand its learning and new talent activity, including through this new public venue and exhibition, is vital to the future of the moving-image industry.
“I would like to finish by thanking all of you here today who have generously supported the next stage of BAFTA’s work. This project will help to promote the growth of the creative talent in the UK, and internationally, and to ensure that talented people from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to succeed. It is thanks to your support that we will continue to see the British film, game and television industry go from strength to strength.”