The Queen invited me, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Eric Fellner, David Hare, Tessa Ross, Rebecca O’Brien, Tom Hooper, Col Needham, Leslie Phillips, Derek Malcom, Idris Elba, Edgar Wright, Minnie Driver, Helena Bonham Carter and 284 of her best movie friends to Windsor Castle for a special celebration of the British film industry last night.
Kenneth Branagh presented her with a special BAFTA for supporting British film over the 50-year span of her reign. Kenneth Branagh told the crowd that due to her Olympic triumph the sovereign had already been sent many scripts. “Not all of them are fully funded,” Sir Kenneth said, “but with Your Majesty attached, they would be bound to get funding.”
Astonishingly the Queen and Prince Philip mingled with the crowd. I saw Prince Philip wandering along with a glass of wine and went over to him and thanked him for the evening and had a totally lucid conversation with him. Despite rumours to the contrary he is totally 100% there. Total respect.
Other members of the royal family appeared: the Duke of York; the Countess of Wessex; and Prince Michael of Kent.
The stories could go on and on. My favourite moment was near the end when Derek Malcolm came over to me and told me wasn’t going to take the train back to London – could I find him a ride. By then I sort of knew who had driven and who hadn’t. The only person who was driving to Derek’s part of London was Helena Bonham Carter, and the two waltzed out arm in arm as the lights dimmed.
You can see pictures from the Royal reception line here. It’s a great way to sewe 300 of the top people in the British film industry.
A happy and personally rewarding night.