updated 02/19/2010 AT 7:20 PM ET
•originally published 02/21/2010 AT 7:45 PM ET
It was a night to remember for Twi-hards and royal fans at the Orange British Academy Awards in London, as Prince William was announced BAFTA’s new President and Kristen Stewart won the “Orange Rising Star” award with Robert Pattinson in the audience.
While Twilight’s hot couple arrived separately on the red carpet, both to loud cheers, it was Prince William signing autographs that caused the biggest frenzy on the way in to the star-studded ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
The young royal attended solo – minus girlfriend Kate Middleton – opened the ceremony with a heartfelt speech on his new BAFTA appointment. “This is such a privilege for me,” he said adding, “I have to say, there is nothing better than going to see a really good film so this is a great personal thrill for me.”
Prince William follows in the footsteps of his grandfather in accepting the high-profile arts role.
Later in the evening, Colin Firth scooped the Leading Actor award for his role in A Single Man and thanked his friend and director, Tom Ford, for believing in him. “An encounter with Tom Ford is to come away feeling resuscitated, a little more worldly, better groomed, more fragrant and more nominated than one has ever been before.”
Carey Mulligan won the Leading Actress award for An Education. In a stunning floral dress, the Brit-born actress tearfully told reporters that the BAFTA recognition meant “everything to me,” and that it would be kept in the UK, “probably at my parents house, in their living room.”
The war drama The Hurt Locker picked up the most awards, taking home six in total, including Best Film.
The evening ended with Prince William and Uma Thurman presenting the Academy Fellowship award to Vanessa Redgrave who gave an emotional speech and received a standing ovation from her peers and her family including her daughter, Joely Richardson.