Prince William will no longer appear at this weekend’s British Academy Film and Television Arts Awards following the death of his grandfather Prince Philip and amid a scandal involving allegations of racism within the royal family.
“In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of BAFTA programming this weekend,” the British Academy said in a statement to USA TODAY Saturday. “Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.”
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and current president of BAFTA, was supposed to take part in a video segment for Saturday’s BAFTA event with costume designer Jenny Beavan and makeup and hair designer Sharon Martin.
Prince Philip, who died Friday at age 99, had long been associated with film and TV in the UK. In 1959, he became the first president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
The royal connection to BAFTA continued: Prince William began his stint as president in 2010 and Princess Anne served for 30 years beginning in 1972. In a statement sent out Friday, BAFTA said Philip “occupies a special place in the Academy’s history and will be missed enormously.”
Awards presenters at Sunday’s ceremony at Royal Albert Hall will include Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Pedro Pascal, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cynthia Erivo, Hugh Grant and Tom Hiddleston, while Renée Zellweger, Rose Byrne, Andra Day and Anna Kendrick will appear virtually from L.A.
This year’s awards were postponed due the worldwide COVID-19 crisis. The British Academy said the awards will be held on April 11, rather than the previously announced Feb. 14. The academy has also changed eligibility rules so that films whose theatrical releases were curtailed or switched to online-only releases will be eligible for consideration.
The British Academy also shook up its membership and its awards voting rules, promising to change after contenders for the 2020 awards were announced last January. No women were nominated as best director for the seventh year running, and all 20 nominees in the lead and supporting performer categories were white.
The measures include recruiting 1,000 new members from under-represented groups to join the current 6,700-strong voting academy of film industry professionals.
The academy has also changed the rules for the British Academy Film Awards, introducing a new “longlist” round in the voting before the selection of the final nominees. For best film, academy members will choose a 15-film longlist that all members must watch before voting for the winner.
Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prince William will not appear at BAFTAs after Prince Philip’s death