The Princess of Wales brought back a much-loved Alexander McQueen gown for tonight’s BAFTA awards.
This is the first time the Prince and Princess have attended the awards since 2020; Prince William has been BAFTA’s President since 2013.
Below, a quick video as the couple arrived.
The Prince and Princess of Wales are at the #EEBAFTAs this evening at the Royal Festival Hall. The Prince, President of @BAFTA, and the Princess will watch the awards ceremony and meet the Rising Star award nominees pic.twitter.com/381l4eX5qj
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) February 19, 2023
Tonight’s glittering awards ceremony was at London’s Royal Festival Hall. People notes in this story, “This year marks a new venue for the event, which has been held at the Royal Albert Hall since 2017. Before that, it was held at London’s Royal Opera House.” Below, the royals speaking with BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar.
Here you see them with Anna Higgs, chair of the BAFTA Film Committee.
The Princess is having a laugh, I believe, in reaction to something Prince William said.
The royals spoke with attendees, including the Academy’s Rising Star award nominees. That award “honours young acting talent who have demonstrated exceptional talent and ambition and begun to capture the imagination of the British public,” per BAFTA’s description. This year’s nominees included Sheila Atim (L), Daryl McCormack (2nd from left), Naomi Ackie (3rd from left).
The Princess and Ms. Atim.
This year’s winner was Emma Mackey; she spoke with the Princess after the awards program concluded.
Tonight’s program included a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth featuring Dame Helen Mirren. More from this Vanity Fair piece.
Over the past five decades, the BAFTAs have enjoyed a close relationship with the royal family as the monarch served as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Royal Variety Charity, and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund. She even donated her portion of the proceeds from the 1969 BBC documentary Royal Family to the Society of Film and Television Arts, which was the BAFTA’s predecessor, in order to help them establish a headquarters.
And a video.
Dame Helen Mirren pays tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at the #EEBAFTAs. #BritBox pic.twitter.com/9ECnpaOYxY
— BritBoxUS (@BritBox_US) February 19, 2023
After the awards, the royals spent time speaking with attendees and winners. Below, the Princess and Alison Hammond, one of tonight’s hosts.
Here you see her with (L-R) Cara Speller, Peter Baynton, Hannah Minghella, and Daniel Marc Dreifuss.
And here you see the Princess with Charlie Mackesy (L), Peter Baynton (3rd L), Hannah Minghella (C), and Daniel Marc Dreifuss (C-R).
Now for our look at what Kate wore, beginning with the updated Alexander McQueen gown.
The Grecian-style gown was first seen at the 2019 BAFTA Awards; it is featured in the Iconic Looks section of this site. For tonight’s engagement, the dress was updated with alterations to the left shoulder: the floral petals were removed, and additional fabric was added and anchored to the shoulder.
NY Times Fashion Director reported that Cate Blanchett repeated her 2015 Oscars dress this evening, a design by Maison Margiela.
Bravo Cate Blanchett for rewearing her 2015 Oscars dress (by Maison Margiela) to the 2023 BAFTAs pic.twitter.com/4BG79gkJ5v
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) February 19, 2023
The most dramatic element of tonight’s ensemble was the Princess’s opera-length gloves. My guess is that black velvet was chosen to coordinate with Prince William’s jacket.
Middleton Maven suggests they are the Melissa style ($217) by Cornelia James, and I think she is correct.
More from this Telegraph column by Bethan Holt, the paper’s fashion director.
…the current Princess of Wales used a traditional item to make a very contemporary style statement on Sunday night.
This is the Princess’s fifth appearance on the BAFTA red carpet, a regular slot in her calendar which she’s turned into an opportunity to deliver a wow moment with a wink to A-list style, a chance to dazzle away from the more staid environment of a state banquet.
This is Catherine’s first outing at the BAFTAs as Princess of Wales which makes the choice of those gloves an even more interesting one. Gloves are a staple accessory in the Royal family and were a signature item which the late Queen Elizabeth rarely left the Palace without.
This evening we saw the return of the Aquazzura Fenix pumps ($750, now sold out) that were first noted at the September 2021 No Time to Die premiere.
The Princess carried a bag we have seen before, the Celeste style by Jimmy Choo.
She wore a new pair of Zara earrings, the Cascading Flower style ($29.90), featuring flower-shaped charms and jewel appliqué.
Thank you to UFO No More for the speedy earring ID.
In 2019 the (then) Duchess of Cambridge accessorized the gown with diamond and pearl earrings that belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. Additionally, she wore the Queen’s Diamond Quatrefoil Bracelet and carried a McQueen bag, the Mini Crystal-Embellished Clutch. She also wore Jimmy Choo heels in 2019, the brand’s Silver and Dusk Blue Fireball Glitter Dégradé Romy. Below, the looks side by side.
UPDATE FEB 21: A friend shared an image of the original gown design that shows it with fabric at the shoulder, as opposed to the floral motif seen on the Princess’s gown in 2019.
And now for a look at all of the ensembles worn to the awards. For the 2020 awards, the Princess wore an Alexander McQueen design first seen during the 2012 Jubilee Tour. In 2019, she was in tonight’s one-shoulder McQueen gown. At the 2018 awards, it was a deep green Jenny Packham with emerald and diamond jewelry, and at the 2017 BAFTAs, it was an off-the-shoulder Alexander McQueen dress.
The Royal Family Channel’s coverage runs about three minutes.
Monday 6th of March 2023
Lovely, so glamorous. I love the rewear & Zara earrings. I’m not sure of the gloves, from my rewatching of Downton Abbey, they fit the ladies tighter. But overall very lovely. Catherine’s style has gone from “tidy or nice” to real interest on her part, esp the hair
Sunday 5th of March 2023
I think the black gloves are ghastly.
Sunday 26th of February 2023
First….she is lovely..the dress beautiful. The gloves I totally understand although I’m not a big fan of gloves on the red carpet. I’m always disappointed when I don’t see pieces from the Royal Collection…there has to be so many that haven’t seen the light of day in years and I would absolutely love to see them worn.
Sunday 26th of February 2023
The look was okay, except for the earrings. They looked like shrimps hanging on her ears.
Saturday 25th of February 2023
The rare miss from the Princess of Wales. Dramatic evening gloves are very in right now so I see why she would choose them but this looks like three separate outfits — it all appears random, there’s no coordination between the elements. The gloves, which are too long make her look like she has no arms and are too heavy for the dress. The 2019 gown was much better, the reworked version now looks like she attached some mosquito netting to her shoulder!
Not to mention that someone who is committed to sustainability and the environment should not be purchasing new earrings from Zara whose business plan is anything but. She has jewelry box full of genuine and costume earrings.
This was not a success by my definition of the word but I like that she took a risk and hope she continues to do so in the future.