Prince William can be counted as a royal film buff, having attended many movie premieres in the past, often alongside his wife, Duchess Kate. As the beginning of the London Film Festival draws near, Kensington Palace has announced that the duke will attend one of the world premieres to support veterans and director extraordinaire Peter Jackson on Oct. 16.
The New Zealand native, known for his work on the Lord of the Rings series, will be showing his newest film, They Shall Not Grow Old , a documentary about World War I debuting never-before-seen footage. The groundbreaking documentary commemorates the centennial of the end of the war and was co-commissioned by the Imperial War Museums and 14-18 NOW. Of the film, the 56-year-old producer says: “We have transformed 100-year-old film footage to see The Great War as the soldiers themselves saw it.”
It’s likely to be an emotional piece to watch, especially for those who have served in the military like Prince William. The father of three gave eight years of service to the Royal Air Force, British Army and the Royal Navy from 2005 to 2013, stopping two years after saying “I do” to Kate. Though he was never deployed overseas, he’s likely to have heard stories from his brother, Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan.
While many monarchs abdicated or were removed after World War I, this was a defining time for the British Royals, who emerged from the war more popular than ever, according to ITV. This was the time when the Royal Family became the Windsor family, giving up the German surnames of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. King George V visited the troops over 450 times and made nearly 300 hospital visits to honour men wounded in battle, as did Queen Mary. This was reportedly the first time the British monarchy embraced close contact with their people, which really wasn’t done before. The Queen Mother’s father, Prince Albert, fought in the navy at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.