The biggest night of the year for the British film industry, the BAFTAs have, for the last seven decades, held a special place in the hearts of many. It’s where stars of stage and screen from across Europe, the U.S., and around the world have mingled; where the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Cher have taken red carpet risks; and where Jodie Foster, Daniel Kaluuya, and countless other actors have been given their moment on the podium years before they received similar recognition from the Academy.
But it’s easy to forget that between the ’60s and ’00s, the BAFTAs looked remarkably different from the slick production we’ve become accustomed to today. Before the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge sat front and center, the Duke of Edinburgh was there, laughing with Peter O’Toole as he presented him with the award for best British actor for Lawrence of Arabia in 1963. Before Angelina Jolie glided down the red carpet in an off-the-shoulder black column gown in solidarity with Time’s Up, she attended in 1998 with a choppy pixie cut and her first husband, Jonny Lee Miller, in tow. Then there’s Emma Watson, now a BAFTAs regular, who—aged just 14—arrived in an emerald green frock in 2005 and gave an adorable speech when accepting the BAFTA for the Orange Film of the Year on behalf of the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Now, ahead of the 2023 BAFTAs, we’ve compiled the best vintage photos from ceremonies past, featuring everyone from Elizabeth Hurley in all her ’90s glory to a 19-year-old Kristen Stewart, the recipient of the 2010 Rising Star award.