Prince William tears up as 'mysterious' Queen hailed as 'silent film star' in Helen Mirren's emotional BAFTA speech

Prince William and Kate Middleton watched on as Helen Mirren made a touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at the BAFTA Film Awards 2023

Prince William tears up as Helen Mirren honors 'mysterious' Queen at BAFTA awards
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince William was moved to tears by Helen Mirren's touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth II at the BAFTAS on Sunday evening. 

Prince William didn't hold back his emotions on Sunday evening, appearing to well up in tears at the BAFTA Film Awards 2023 during a particularly poignant highlight of the star-studded ceremony. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales attended the iconic awards show at London's Royal Hall last night, marking their first joint public engagement since their trip to Cornwall earlier this month. As President of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Prince William was invited to watch the accolades being presented and to meet the nominees and winners. 


(Image credit: Getty)

The 40-year-old was brought to tears by Helen Mirren's tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, which honored the late monarch for her ongoing support of BAFTA. 

Her Majesty died aged 96 in September after a record-breaking 70-year-long reign, which was celebrated across the UK and the Commonwealth with the Platinum Jubilee the previous June. 

Queen Elizabeth II attends an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative

(Image credit: Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Mirren, who portrayed Elizabeth Windsor in the 2006 film, The Queen, hailed the royal icon last night as Britain's "leading star" for "effortlessly" bringing the nation together. 

"BAFTA's relationship with Her Majesty was longstanding and BAFTA would not be what it is today without her loyal support," the Oscar-winner said. "In 1953 her coronation broadcast had the world watching, from that time, she was unquestionably the nation's leading lady. But was mysterious as a silent film star."

Helen Mirren

(Image credit: Getty)

The tribute to the Queen also included a voice-over with a montage of clips, with the monarch saying, "Through the creative genius of artist, whether they be writers, actors filmmakers, we can see both the range of our cultures and elements of our shared humanity." 

The camera then panned to William, who appeared to have been left teary-eyed by the poignant segment. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Mirren later revealed that she, too, had cried while rehearsing the tribute.
"I did feel very strongly about the Queen," the 77-year-old told TV personality, Alison Hammond. "You know, I am Elizabethan; she was there for my whole life. Her passing was massive." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.