The Duchess was one of a small number of women at this year’s ceremony not to wear all black, after a letter outlining the Time’s Up dress code was circulated.Neither the Duke, president of Bafta, nor the Duchess appeared to be wearing the Time’s Up lapel pin, which others wore on the red carpet. Amanda Berry, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge and Prince WilliamCredit:James Gourley/BAFTA//REX/Shutterstock She added: “I’m here tonight to stand in solidarity with every woman, every person in the world who has suffered sexual abuse in the workplace.” Gemma Arterton arrived with Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, two of the “Dagenham Girls” who walked out of the Ford Motor Company’s Dagenham plant in June 1968 and finally won equal pay. Arterton, who starred in a stage musical version of their story, said: “I thought it was really fitting and I’m really happy and proud that I’m with Gwen and Eileen because they represent a normal person speaking up for what is actually right.” After the Duke and Duchess walked into the hall to polite applause to take their front row seats, Jane Lush, Bafta chairman, opened proceedings with a summary of the “revelation after revelation” leading up to the protest, telling the audience: “This is a moment in history. It should be a watershed.” Andrea Riseborough, who walked the red carpet with activist Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, said those backing the movement hoped to get across “the idea that when all of this stops we all remember that this is an important cause and that we should carry on the conversation”. Allison Janney, picking up the prize for best supporting actress for I, Tonya, avoided all things serious, using her speech to clear up a falsehood that she had graduated from Rada, when she in fact attended a two-week summer programme.Other winners included Darkest Hour, which saw Gary Oldman transformed into Winston Churchill with amazing prosthetics, won the award for best make-up and hair. Daniel Kaluuya, the British actor, won the public vote as Bafta’s rising star. The Shape of Water won prizes for original music and production design, Call Me By Your Name won best adapted screenplay, and Phantom Thread best costumes. “As president, I am proud of the leadership Bafta have shown on this; in a year which rocked the industry as many brave people spoke up about bullying, harassment and abuse despite the risk to their professional careers and reputations.” Clockwise from top left: Anya Taylor-Joy, Margot Robbie, the Duchess of Cambridge, Gemma Arterton and Joanna LumleyCredit:Mike Marsland/WireImage/AP/REX On one side, there were the industry’s biggest stars, turning the Bafta red carpet black in their visible support of the Time’s Up movement; on the other, the traditionalists insisting the Duchess of Cambridge could not be drawn into a global protest about sexual harassment and gender equality.On Sunday night, the Duchess attempted to walk the diplomatic line, eschewing an unofficial all-black dress code to see the cream of British cinema honoured at the Royal Albert Hall.Her choice of a dark green Jenny Packham dress with a black ribbon appeared to please and offend in equal measure, apparently designed to avoid the scandal of a future queen making an overt statement that could be perceived as political.The movement did not, however, go unnoticed; instead of sending a message through clothing, the Duke acknowledged it in writing.In a foreword in the ceremony’s programme, he mentioned steps taken to protect those in the industry, stating: “Levelling the playing field and ensuring a safe, professional working environment for aspiring actors, filmmakers and craft practitioners – regardless of their background and circumstances – is vital to ensure film remains accessible and exciting for all. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A spokesman for Kensington Palace did not comment on the choice. Catherine Quinn, the Duchess’s private secretary, attending the awards in her official capacity, chose to blend in discreetly in black. Members of the Royal family are supposed to avoid political statements, leaving the Duchess with a stark choice between being accused of overstepping her position or being the only woman wearing colour.Some critics were “disappointed”, arguing that objecting to sexual harassment was not political. From the start, there was little on anyone’s lips except the Time’s Up theme.Campaigners, wearing T-shirts and chanting about sisterhood, lay on the red carpet while stars gushed about the campaign’s aims in interviews. Women at Bafta made no secret of their aims for the evening. Kristin Scott Thomas, nominated for her Clementine Churchill in Darkest Hour, said of Time’s Up: “We need equality now – I think their slogan is absolutely right… Now it’s a question of moving it from conversation to action.” Packing a punch: Florence Pugh on the red carpetCredit:Dave Benett/Getty Images Angelina Jolie wore a black gown to the eventCredit:Mike Marsland/WireImage Salma Hayek, presenting the best actor award, said: “In this very important and historic year for women, I’m here to celebrate men.”She joked the award would go to Frances McDormand, one of the best actress nominees, before announcing the true winner: Gary Oldman.Oldman honoured the late prime minister, who held the line for “honour, integrity and freedom for his nation and the world”. McDormand, who did win best actress, accepted the award in a red, pink and black dress. She joked she had a problem with conformity but added: “I stand in full solidarity with my sisters in black.” Joanna Lumley, the first woman to host the awards solo in more than 20 years, acknowledged the “powerful protest” in her introduction.The first award, for outstanding British film, was presented by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Graham Broadbent, its producer, delivered a speech referencing the “tectonic shift” in the industry, and the “meaningful change that can happen quickly”. Sam Rockwell, best supporting actor for the same film, admitted he “stands on the shoulders of strong, intelligent, righteous women who have made my life complete”.Despite the enthusiastic words, gender equality did not appear to bear out in the awards themselves: 39 statues were taken away by men and eight by women.