• The BAFTAs have paid tribute to Prince Philip after the royal died Friday at age 99
  • Prince William, the current BAFTA president, and his wife Kate Middleton canceled their attendance at the event
  • Prince Philip was the first-ever president of BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) paid tribute to Prince Philip after his death on Friday.

The late Duke of Edinburgh was honored at the 74th BAFTA Awards, which was held on Saturday and Sunday at London's Royal Albert Hall. Prince Philip served as the first-ever president of BAFTA from 1959 to 1965, with several other royals taking on the role after him, including Prince William, who serves as the current president since 2010.

"Tonight we want to say on behalf of BAFTA that we are extremely saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday," host Clara Amfo was quoted by Entertainment Tonight as saying during the ceremony on Saturday. "The Duke was BAFTA's very first president over 60 years ago, and was the first in a line of royal patronages all the way through to BAFTA's current president, his grandson, the Duke of Cambridge."

"It was Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen's support throughout these years that in many ways allowed BAFTA, a leading charity in the arts, to continue in difficult times and to be here today in 2021 celebrating another outstanding year of achievement in film. The Duke of Edinburgh occupies a very special place in BAFTA history. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with the royal family."

Sunday's co-host Edith Bowman also paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh. She said the late royal "occupies a very special place in BAFTA's history, and our thoughts are with the royal family."

Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, usually walk the red carpet, but the event was held virtually this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Duke of Cambridge was due to make a speech via video link this year but chose to skip the event following his grandfather's passing.

Following the death of her husband, Queen Elizabeth II has entered an eight-day mourning period in which she will not work and all laws and state affairs that require her approval will be put on hold, Us Weekly reported. Other members of the royal family will also halt their royal engagements during this time.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry has flown to England for Prince Philip's funeral, reuniting with his family in person for the first time since he and Meghan Markle quit royal duties last year. The service will be held Saturday at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip
Prince Philip raises his hat in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, makes his final individual public engagement as he attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017 in London. Getty Images/Yui Mok