A clip of Prince William and Kate Middleton reacting to a Prince Harry joke made by Margot Robbie while she accepted Brad Pitt’s Bafta award on his behalf in 2020 has resurfaced on social media.
During the awards ceremony, Robbie had been reading a speech that Pitt, who had been unable to fly over due to “family obligations,” had written beforehand if he were to win the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino’s tribute to the 1960s film industry, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The speech had been riddled with jokes, but one cheeky joke about Prince Harry’s exit from the royal family and subsequent relocation to California drew the most attention.
The Barbie actress delivered her Once Upon a Time in Hollywood costar’s closing joke, saying while holding up the golden statue: “He says that he’s going to name this Harry because he’s really excited about bringing it back to the States with him. His words, not mine!”
The award show’s cameras zeroed in on the Prince and Princess of Wales’ reaction as they sat in the front row, but they were visibly unflappable, and in good nature, they laughed along with the rest of the audience. A resurfaced clip of William and Kate’s reaction has since gone viral on TikTok, where it has more than 70,000 likes, and where many viewers have commended the couple’s composure.
One person wrote that the two were being “good sports” about the joke, while another commented: “Kate’s enjoyment of that did not need to be faked."
This wasn’t the only time that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s departure from the royal family has been brought up in a BAFTA speech or joke. Years later, in 2022, Rebel Wilson, who was hosting the awards ceremony that year, lampooned the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in a joke announcing the category for Outstanding British Film.
“From drama to horror, to fantasy,” the Pitch Perfect actress, 42, said. “Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah had it all. Unfortunately, that’s not nominated in this category, but some incredible films are.”
The reaction to Wilson’s joke was mild at best, with half the audience tentatively laughing along, while others, like Emma Watson, whose reaction was captured on cameras, remained impassive. Viewers theorised that many, including the royal family, were unimpressed with Wilson’s joke, but the actress doubled down when she later revealed that she ran the joke by a friend in the royal family.
On her experience with the royal family, Wilson said: “They actually have a really great sense of humour. People think [not] because of their position but they like to laugh as well!”
While the royal family has taken the jokes in stride, the effects of Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal exit to the United States have rattled the monarchy. The couple’s Oprah Winfrey interview was only the beginning of the Sussexes telling their side of the story, with the couple then releasing a highly-streamed Netflix documentary series chronicling their journey to the US and Prince Harry’s blockbuster memoir.
The duke and duchess are due to step back into the limelight with an appearance at the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf, Germany in September.
The couple’s production company, Archewell, will be releasing a competition series about the games called The Heart of Invictus on Netflix. Although the show is due to be released this summer, the official release date is unknown.
Netflix UK & Ireland’s Twitter account teased the premise: “This new series from Archewell Productions follows a group of extraordinary competitors from around the globe – all service members who have suffered life-changing injuries or illnesses – on their road to competing at the Invictus Games.”