King Charles Renews His Patronage of the British Film Institute


King Charles III, an avid cinema enthusiast, has once again renewed his patronage of the British Film Institute (BFI), the leading body for film in the United Kingdom. This renewal marks a significant moment as the monarch resumes his royal duties following a positive response to his recent cancer treatment.

King Charles Renews
King Charles Renews

The Importance of Royal Patronage

Royal patronage is a vital asset for organizations like the BFI. It not only brings essential publicity but also provides a broader platform for their achievements to be recognized and celebrated. For the BFI, having King Charles as a patron means more visibility and support, enhancing their mission of promoting and preserving British film culture.

A Long-Standing Relationship with the BFI

King Charles’s association with the BFI is not new. It dates back 25 years when, as the Prince of Wales, he inaugurated the BFI IMAX theater in Waterloo, London. This landmark theater has since become an iconic venue for film screenings and events, cementing its place in the cultural landscape of the UK.

In 2018, the then-Prince Charles celebrated 40 years as the BFI’s Patron by visiting the BFI Southbank. During this visit, he interacted with BFI employees, Chief Executive Ben Roberts, BFI Film Academy alumni, and renowned British actors such as Ruth Wilson, Hayley Atwell, David Oyelowo, and BFI ambassador Tom Hiddleston. These interactions underscored his commitment to supporting British talent and the film industry.

Preserving the Royal Collection

The BFI, founded in 1933 and governed by the Royal Charter since 1983, is also responsible for preserving the Royal Collection within its national archive. This responsibility underscores the BFI’s dedication to safeguarding the cultural heritage of the UK. During his 2018 visit, King Charles was shown Peter Sellers’ script from “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976) with handwritten notes by the actor, and promotional material from “The Pink Panther,” one of his favorite films. Such moments highlight the deep connection between the monarchy and the cinematic treasures preserved by the BFI.

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A Statement from the BFI

Ben Roberts, the Chief Executive of the BFI, expressed his gratitude for King Charles’s continued support: “We are honored to have the Royal Patronage of HM King Charles III and grateful for the support he has already given us as Patron as The Prince of Wales for 45 years, showing his commitment and passion for film along the way. We take our responsibility for caring for the Royal Collection in the BFI National Archive very seriously and are dedicated to ensuring it is preserved for generations to come.”

The Impact of King Charles’s Patronage

King Charles’s patronage extends beyond mere formality. His active involvement brings a wealth of benefits to the BFI and the broader film community. His passion for cinema helps attract attention to important initiatives and projects, fostering a greater appreciation for British film both domestically and internationally.

His recovery and return to royal duties also send a message of resilience and dedication, inspiring not only those within the film industry but also the public at large. The BFI’s work in preserving the Royal Collection ensures that the rich history and cultural significance of British cinema remain accessible to future generations, a mission greatly supported by royal patronage.

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