Baftas 2014: Prince William presents 'granny' Helen Mirren with Bafta Fellowship

The Duke of Cambridge presented the actress with the prestigious accolade

Dame Helen Mirren received her Bafta Fellowship from the Duke of Cambridge last night, who joked that he should “probably call her ‘granny’” after she played Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’ 2006 film.

Prince William, 31, presented Mirren with the prestigious award at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, accompanied by actor Jeremy Irons.

The 68-year old actress was praised for her “outstanding, exceptional contribution to film”. She thanked her family and co-stars for their support throughout her long career, adding that the accolade was “encouragement to carry on”.

“I have never met him before actually and I have to say he is really very sweet and very charming,” Mirren said backstage. “It was a great honour, really fantastic.”

In further reference to her Oscar-winning performance as the Queen, Mirren then quipped: “I wanted to have a hanky in my bag, take it out and spit on it and clean his face a little bit!"

 

Before the star-studded ceremony, Mirren acknowledged that she must have impressed the Royal Family as the Queen. “I don’t think Prince William would agree to hand me the award if he thought I had blown it performing as his grandma,” she said.

Past winners of the Bafta Fellowship have included directors Alfred Hitchcock and Martin Scorsese and actors Laurence Olivier, Jennifer Saunders and Maggie Smith.

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave took the Best Film award on Sunday, with lead star Chiwetel Ejiofor winning Best Actor, but lost out to Gravity for the most wins. Alfonso Cuaron’s space adventure left with six trophies including the Outstanding British Film prize.

Last week, Mirren spoke out in support of playwright David Hare’s recent remark about the high body count in contemporary drama. The actress added to his comment, telling The Observer: “Most of those bodies are young women”.

Read more: Baftas: Stars arrive on red carpet
Baftas: 12 Years a Slave claims top prize
Baftas: Chiwetel Ejiofor wins Best Actor

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