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Did Prince William Skip BAFTA Because of the War in Ukraine?

The BAFTA red carpet usually has two royal VIPs among its guests: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

But last night, the royal couple skipped the ceremony, with BAFTA president Prince William opting to send a pre-recorded video message instead.

The Royal Family’s absence was reportedly due to: ‘diary restrictions’ [that] prevented him from attending in person’. The decision is said to have left organizers ‘deeply disappointed’ as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are a ‘huge draw’.

But the explanation has raised eyebrows as William will attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey today, less than 24 hours after the awards ceremony.

It has led to speculation that William, 39, may have chosen to miss the BAFTAs because he was uncomfortable attending the event during the war in Ukraine.

The BAFTA red carpet usually has two royal VIPs among its guests: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But last night, the royal couple skipped the ceremony, with BAFTA president Prince William opting to send a pre-recorded video message instead. Pictured, in 2020

Royal family absence was reportedly due to 'diary restrictions' [that] prevented him from attending in person'.  The decision is said to have left organizers 'deeply disappointed' as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are a 'huge draw'.  Above, William's video message

Royal family absence was reportedly due to ‘diary restrictions’ [that] prevented him from attending in person’. The decision is said to have left organizers ‘deeply disappointed’ as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are a ‘huge draw’. Above, William’s video message

Other commentators have questioned whether the Duke of Cambridge is taking a stand against BAFTA broadcaster the BBC over its series The Princes And The Press, which accused the Cambridges of briefing the Sussexes.

Amanda Platell of Mail On Sunday wrote: ‘I am surprised that Prince William, president of BAFTA, has withdrawn from tomorrow night’s glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on the BBC, due to ‘diary restrictions which prevented him from attending in person’.

“Certainly, every royal’s diary is recorded many months in advance.

My guess is that after the horribly biased series The Princes And The Press, presented by their bejeweled star Amol Rajan and which accused the Cambridges of briefing the Sussexes, William decided not to show up except via video.

‘Is this a sign that the royal family is haunting Republican Beeb? If so, it’s not a moment too soon.’

On Twitter, a royal follower commented: “William is president of BAFTA so he is expected to attend. He may find it inappropriate because of what is happening in Ukraine.”

Another posted online: ‘William may not explain, but he won’t forget. I’m sure he’s not going to BAFTA b/c of ​​optics w/Ukraine, but I bet he’s not heartbroken that his cancellation will hurt the BBC.”

Prince William has been a fixture on the BAFTA red carpet since he was named president 10 years ago.

The Duchess of Cambridge has also joined him on a number of occasions.

The absence has led to speculation that William, 39, may have chosen to miss the BAFTAs because he was uncomfortable attending the event during the war in Ukraine.  Pictured, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Center in London

The absence has led to speculation that William, 39, may have chosen to miss the BAFTAs because he was uncomfortable attending the event during the war in Ukraine. Pictured, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Center in London

A source told The Mirror yesterday: ‘Prince William has always been a big draw, not least because it’s his first year back alive after the pandemic.

“But BAFTA was told that due to his schedule restrictions, he could not attend in person this year. It’s such a shame and everyone is very disappointed.’

The ‘diary restrictions’ are said to be related to preparations for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s upcoming Caribbean tour, which kicks off on Saturday.

However, royal expert Robert Jobson noted that Prince William is not required to attend every event. He told Femail, “I don’t think you’re committed to every ceremony as a patron, even if the organizers assumed he would.

“I don’t think previous royal patrons attended all the events.”

William was able to share his comments via a pre-recorded video message, saying he was “extremely proud” of the Academy’s Breakthrough mentoring program, which “has provided opportunities and support to talented people.”

In the 90-second speech, William said, “Hello everyone. As president of BAFTA, I am extremely proud of the work BAFTA does throughout the year to provide opportunities and support for talented people to develop successful careers in films, games and television.

“One of these programs is Breakthrough, a long-term mentoring and mentoring initiative that helps people reach their true potential.

“It’s great that there are over 30 participants from Breakthrough UK in the audience this evening.

Two of them, Aleem Khan and Jessie Buckley, have been nominated for awards tonight.

They join an impressive roster of young talent, including Bukky Bakray and Florence Pugh, as well as Paapa Essiedu and Ray Panthaki, who have been heavily involved in BAFTA-nominated films.

‘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 you watching these awards, that journey begins today. Congratulations to all nominees and winners and I wish you all a great evening.’

MailOnline has contacted Kensington Palace for comment.

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