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Prince William Apologizes for Kate Middleton’s Absence at 2024 BAFTAs

Prince William Apologizes for Kate Middleton’s Absence at 2024 BAFTAs
Jordan Pettitt – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William stepped out for the 2024 British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, February 18, but his usual plus one, Princess Kate Middleton, was not by his side one month after her abdominal surgery.

“I’m sorry Catherine’s not here. She does love the BAFTAs,” the Prince of Wales, 41, told Elaine Bedell, chief executive of the Southbank Center, at the awards show.

William attended the ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London by himself. He looked dapper in a navy velvet blazer, which he paired with black trousers and a matching bowtie.

“I remember last year about the films that you’d watched,” Bedell replied, to which William said, “All the ones I watch, she watches with me. So we go through it carefully.”

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William admitted he’s watched “the fewest I’ve ever done before” regarding this year’s films, adding, “I’ve had a lot on my mind. … But hopefully, I’ll catch up.”

He allegedly gushed over Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, but he hasn’t checked Barbie off the list yet, telling the Daily Telegraph, “but I want to.”

Days before the ceremony, Kensington Palace confirmed that William would be at the event sans Kate, 42. “The prince, president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), will watch the awards ceremony before meeting category winners and EE Rising Star Award nominees,” read a statement to People on Friday, February 16.

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Kate has been taking a break from royal engagements since undergoing a “planned” abdominal procedure last month. “The surgery was successful, and it is expected that she will remain in hospital for 10 to 14 days, before returning home to continue her recovery,” Kensington Palace shared via X (formerly Twitter) on January 17. “Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter.”

According to the statement, Kate hoped that well-wishers would “understand her desire to maintain as much normality for her children as possible” and respect “her wish that her personal medical information remains private.” (William and Kate, who tied the knot in April 2011, share Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.)

Prince William talks with Cate Blanchett during the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards in London on February 18, 2024. JORDAN PETTITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The statement concluded: “The Princess of Wales wishes to apologize to all those concerned for the fact that she has to postpone her upcoming engagements. She looks forward to reinstating as many as possible, as soon as possible.”

The palace confirmed on January 29 that Kate was released from the hospital to continue her recuperation at home. While William took a brief hiatus from his royal duties after the operation, he returned to work on February 7.

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Prior to her procedure, Kate was last seen in public on Christmas Day as she attended a church service with the family in Sandringham. She typically accompanies William to the BAFTAs, as she did most recently in February 2023. At the time, Kate stunned in a white one-shoulder Alexander McQueen gown and black gloves, while William sported a sleek black suit.

As for William resuming his engagements amid Kate’s recovery, he stepped up after his father, King Charles III, revealed his own health battle. In January, the monarch, 75, underwent a corrective procedure for an enlarged prostate. Buckingham Palace later confirmed that Charles was diagnosed with “a form of cancer,” for which he had “commenced a schedule of regular treatments.” He was “advised by doctors to postpone public-facing duties,” though he has continued “to undertake state business and official paperwork as usual.”

By Michael

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