Royalty and Hollywood glitterati at world premiere for James Bond film Spectre


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have joined the stars of the new James Bond film at the world premiere of Spectre in London.

Daniel Craig and his co-stars including Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes and Christoph Waltz walked down the red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington, before the arrivals of William, his wife Kate - who added a touch of glamour in a blue Jenny Packham gown - and Prince Harry.

The royal trio spoke to director Sam Mendes and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson for a few minutes after they arrived.

Spectre was graced with royal presence after it was selected for the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund's Royal Film Performance 2015.

The 24th instalment in the 007 franchise is the third Bond film chosen for the Royal Film Performance since its inception in 1946, following previous premieres for Die Another Day (2002) and Skyfall (2012).

Craig, who has reprised the role of 007 for the fourth time, said he could not wait for fans to see the movie.

The 47-year-old actor, the first star to arrive, told red carpet host Rick Edwards: "It's just fantastic to see everybody out tonight. I'm not overwhelmed, I'm very excited and I can't wait for people to see the movie."

He added that he "hated" watching himself on screen, but said "I love playing James Bond."

Wearing a black tuxedo, with a poppy pinned on its left side, Craig spent time signing autographs for fans.

He later said he is "proud" of the new film, telling the Press Association: "I'm very proud of it and I hope people will enjoy it."

The latest film sees the MI6 agent confronting enemies from his past through a shadowy organisation known as Spectre.

"We just try to make it as real as possible and it will give an insight into his character."

Craig also thanked fans who had waited hours for the cast, saying: "Thank you for everyone who has made it out tonight. I'm incredibly proud of all the people who made this movie and I can't wait to see what you make of it."

He also joked about his knee injury, which happened during a fight scene with former professional wrestler Dave Bautista, who plays henchman Mr Hinx.

Filming had to be delayed while Craig recovered from the operation but the actor said: "I'm still standing."

David Walliams and Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid joined Edwards in interviewing the stars on the red carpet, with special guests including Sam Smith - who sang the Spectre theme song, Dame Joan Collins, and new Top Gear host Chris Evans.

The presenting duo slipped into one of the movie's cars to arrive in style at the premiere, arriving in the silver 1951 Rolls Royce from the movie.

"What a way to arrive," said Walliams, adding that Spectre is "bigger and better" than its predecessor, Skyfall.

Mendes, back in the director's chair after Skyfall, told Edwards: "I'm very proud and quite nervous, but I'm used to the theatre where things can go wrong. With a movie, everyone is going to give the same performance... so that aspect isn't too nerve-wracking.

"I want people to like it, I want people to like it as much as I do. I'm really proud of it, we sweated blood over it for two years. I'm really thrilled and a bit relieved."

The filmmaker, who previously hinted this would mark his last Bond outing, remained tight-lipped over whether he could be back for a third time.

"Who knows? I don't know," he said.

But he said of his Spectre return: "It feels very familiar and it's exciting to be working with friends and people I've known now for five years.

"That was a lovely feeling that they would trust me. That's a large part of why the movie is what it is because people were willing to go the extra mile."

Fiennes and Harris, who are back as M and Eve Moneypenny, revealed it was a joy to return to their roles.

"I was a Bond fan when I was a teenager. I've always loved the films and the Bond books so I feel a childish delight to be in them," said Fiennes, who could not resist dancing on the red carpet.

Harris - who wore an orange gown by Stella McCartney - added: "It feels like a real privilege because as an actor you go around the world and film one film after another with a different bunch of people. The best time is when I get to reunite with the same band, the same group of people. I love that."

The 39-year-old actress hopes to reprise her part again, saying: "I hope so. Fingers crossed."

The franchise's newcomers such as Waltz, Bautista, Andrew Scott and Bond girls Lea Seydoux and Monica Bellucci were also on the red carpet.

Two-time Oscar winner Waltz, who portrays Bond's nemesis Franz Oberhauser, said: "I don't set out to make a mark on a legacy. I just play a part and I was thrilled that they entrusted with it but the rest is work."

Sherlock star Scott, who plays new MI6 boss Max Denbigh, described the experience as "one of the best jobs."

He said: "It was really exciting to be a part of this. I didn't know which way it was going to be but it was incredibly easy to make - lovely people and it's one of the best jobs I've ever done. I'm glad this is a tiny intimate celebration tonight."

Bellucci, who wore a plunging green velvet dress by Ralph and Russo, plays Lucia Sciarra who is left widowed by 007.

"I loved being a part of these amazing films and to be a James Bond lady is something iconic in cinema," she said.

Seydoux, who was cast as Dr Madeleine Swann, added: "It's very moving because for an actress to be in such an iconic role is amazing."

The French star, who has also appeared in Blue Is The Warmest Colour and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, said she was especially excited about meeting the Duchess of Cambridge.

"I love Kate," she said.

When asked about being a Bond girl, Seydoux quipped to Edwards: "I can't really believe it, but I don't know if I'm a Bond girl, I'm just a blonde girl."

For the first time, the new Bond film will open in cinemas throughout the UK on the same day as the premiere.