Queen hosts British film royalty at palace

LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II hosted the cream of British cinema at Buckingham Palace on Monday, a day after her grandson starred at the Bafta's, the highlight of the industry's calendar.

Guests included director Mike Leigh, actors Roger Moore, Joan Collins and Alan Rickman and writers Tom Stoppard and Alan Bennett.

Director Steve McQueen, whose latest film 12 Years A Slave won best film at Sunday's awards, was also present along with John Hurt, Michael Sheen, Ralph Fiennes, Angela Lansbury and Helena Bonham Carter.

The Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a red Alexander McQueen dress, welcomed guests, and chatted with veteran actress Helen Mirren, who received a Bafta Fellowship from Prince William, Kate's husband, a day earlier.* Pulp Fiction star Uma Thurman said meeting the Queen had been "overwhelming" while Mirren explained how she was "genuinely always astounded by her aura".

The Queen hosted the event in her capacity as the patron of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada).

Rada students performed songs from the musical Oh! What A Lovely War and former pupils of the respected school enacted a scene from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.