William tells of Prince George’s fascination with gaming at Bafta bursary launch

·4 min read

The Duke of Cambridge has said his children are fascinated by computer games, particularly Prince George, but he has been “monitoring screen time”.

William’s comment came during a visit to Bafta’s redeveloped headquarters in central London, as a bursary scheme in his name was launched to help future stars from under-represented groups forge a career in the creative industries.

The duke is president of the arts charity Bafta and praised the organisation’s “commitment” to ensure those with potential have every opportunity to develop their skills.

The Prince William Bafta Bursary for films, games, and television professionals aims to “supercharge” Bafta’s support for these talented individuals, the charity has said.

During the visit, Harry Petch, 20, of Bafta Young Game Designers, showed off his carbon capturing game called Net Carbon, which was unveiled at Cop26 in Glasgow last year.

Duke of Cambridge visit to BAFTA
The Duke of Cambridge shares a joke during his visit to Bafta’s HQ (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Taking the console’s controls, the duke said about his children George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis: “At the moment it’s trying to regulate the gaming… monitoring screen time. Got to be careful of that.

“They’re fascinated by it. George particularly. He’s more interested in it. The other two are a bit too small at the moment but they love the films.

“I adore film and gaming as well.”

Duke of Cambridge visit to BAFTA
William chats to actress Suranne Jones and TV presenter Annie Price (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

William toured the building and chatted to actress Suranne Jones who starred in the acclaimed BBC series Doctor Foster and mentors fledgling stars for Bafta.

The duke also met young creatives helped by another scheme that bore his name, the Prince William Scholarship, and asked them: “Is it working well for you? I can have a word with the boss, the real boss.”

In a statement, William praised the developments at Bafta: “I am hugely proud of Bafta’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that young talent from all walks of life are given every possible opportunity to build and develop successful careers in the film, games and television industries.

“The redevelopment of 195 Piccadilly has created fantastic new learning spaces to ensure that future generations can receive the support they need to thrive.”

William also joined Jones and BBC3 presenter and campaigner Annie Price and their two mentees Lily Blunsom-Washbrook and Roxanne McKenzie.

Duke of Cambridge visit to BAFTA
William tries his hand playing a game at Bafta’s HQ (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph/PA)

Roxanne told the duke: “It can seem an impossible dream to reach so mentoring is helpful.”

William added: “When you first start off it is interesting how (you have) different levels of what success means and it must be daunting to…get through and navigate through the system, it is such a big enormous industry so having mentoring support and bursary is important.”

Bafta – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts – is best known for its annual awards ceremony, but is increasing its support for groups who are under represented in the creative industries.

The charity also announced its Bafta Elevate scheme, an established year-long programme of bespoke support, will open this year to film and television producers from under-represented groups, and launched Connect – a new discounted tier of its membership for mid-level professionals to build up their professional networks.

Jones, who won a Bafta for her role in Doctor Foster, said after the royal visit: “If you want to find your footing in the arts, Bafta’s unique approach of harnessing the industry to support emerging talent can be invaluable.

Duke of Cambridge visit to BAFTA
The Duke of Cambridge tries his hand at the computer game (Paul Grover/Daily Telegraph)

“As young as eight, I dreamed of becoming an actor, but I didn’t begin my professional career until the age of 16.

“A lot of young people in creative fields who don’t have family connections in the industry don’t know where to turn for help or advice and I resonate with their stories in that sense.

“Behind the scenes and beyond the awards, there is a lot of good work being done to level the playing field for creatives from all walks of life and I’m delighted to play my part in my role as a Bafta mentor.”

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