Helen Mirren to Honor Queen Elizabeth with 'Special Tribute' at 2023 BAFTA Awards

Prince William and Kate Middleton are set to attend the BAFTA Awards for the first time since 2020

Dame Helen Mirren, Queen Elizabeth II
Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage, Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty

Dame Helen Mirren will once again pay homage to Queen Elizabeth II.

On Tuesday, five days before the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards in London, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced that Mirren will lead a "special tribute" to the late monarch at this year's ceremony. The 77-year-old actress famously played Queen Elizabeth in the 2006 movie The Queen, winning an Oscar and a BAFTA for her performance. She reprised the royal role for the Broadway play The Audience in 2015.

Mirren became a dame (the female equivalent of a knight in the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to drama in 2003 and got to meet the sovereign at a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2011.

Queen Elizabeth II meets with Dame Helen Mirren (R) at a performing Arts reception at Buckingham Palace on May 9, 2011 in London, England.
Queen Elizabeth II meets with Helen Mirren in May 2011. Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty

In a brief statement on the upcoming tribute, BAFTA said, "The Queen occupies a unique place in BAFTA's history, a close association that spanned 50 years. Through her various patronages, The Queen was renowned for her support of the UK's creative industries."

The arts organization enjoyed a close association with Queen Elizabeth, who died in September at age 96, for most of her record-breaking reign. In addition to serving as patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Royal Variety Charity and the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund, the Queen also gave her portion of the proceeds from the 1969 BBC documentary Royal Family to the Society of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA's predecessor, to establish a headquarters.

In 2013, the Queen accepted a BAFTA of her own. The honorary British Academy Special Award celebrated her decades-long support of film and television in the U.K.

On the day of the Queen's death, BAFTA sent condolences to the royal family.

"The Queen occupies a unique place in the Academy's history and will be missed enormously," a statement said. "Our thoughts are with our President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy."

Queen Elizabeth II receives an honorary BAFTA in recognition of a lifetime's support to British Film and Television at Windsor Castle on April 4, 2013 in Berkshire, England.
Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty

Prince William has served as president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts since 2010, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Prince Philip and aunt Princess Anne.

Kensington Palace has confirmed that William and Kate Middleton will attend the BAFTAs this weekend, marking their debut at the glamorous event as the Prince and Princess of Wales.

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Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the EE British Academy Film Awards 2020
Prince William and Kate Middleton at BAFTAs 2020. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

It will also mark a return to the awards for the royal couple for the first time in three years. In 2021, William pulled out of an appearance at the BAFTAs following his grandfather Prince Philip's death. It was announced last year that the royal couple wouldn't attend the awards ceremony due to diary constraints.

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