Published 21 February 2010

Prince William is to succeed Lord Attenborough as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)’s fifth President, it was announced today at the Orange British Academy Film Awards.

In his first formal act as President, Prince William will present the actor Vanessa Redgrave with a British Academy Fellowship.

Prince William’s Presidency of BAFTA follows in a long line of Royal Family involvement with the Academy and its predecessors. The Duke of Edinburgh served as BAFTA’s first President in 1959, and in 1972 The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh donated a share of the royalties from the film ‘The Royal Family’ to BAFTA’s new headquarters in London. Other BAFTA Presidents have included The Princess Royal and Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

The Presidency marks Prince William’s most significant honorary appointment in the arts world to date. Film and creative industries represent one of the United Kingdom’s most successful cultural exports, with film alone estimated to contribute up to around £4.3 billion a year to the UK economy.

In addition to the Awards, BAFTA has a thriving learning and events programme which includes mentoring, career surgeries, workshops and master classes that reach a range of audiences from school-goers and career starters to industry practitioners.

David Parfitt, Chair of BAFTA, said:

“The Academy has had a long association with the Royal Family and we are absolutely delighted that Prince William has agreed to become our President. Our outgoing President, Lord Attenborough, who has been the most extraordinary supporter of the Academy, extended the invitation to Prince William himself and he is as thrilled as I am that he accepted.”