Queen Elizabeth II has received an honorary British Academy award in recognition of her support of British film and television. John Willis, chairman of the British Academy Film and Television Awards, joked that the prize was also in honor of the queen’s performance as the ‘‘most memorable Bond girl yet’’ during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. He was referring to the moment when a stuntman dressed as the queen parachuted into the Olympic Stadium during a skit involving James Bond, the legendary spy. Actor Kenneth Branagh presented the prize to the queen Thursday at a glamorous reception to celebrate the British entertainment industry at Windsor Castle. It was attended by 300 guests, including director George Lucas, and actors Damian Lewis and John Hurt.
Madonna supports Malawi
Pop diva Madonna held ailing children when visiting an overcrowded children’s ward in Blantyre, Malawi’s largest city. Spending her fourth day in the southern African country Thursday, the singer visited Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital which she has been assisting for five years, through its chief pediatrician, Dr. Eric Borgstein. Borgstein said the ward performs at least 500 surgeries per year on poor children. Trevor Neilson, president of the Global Philanthropy Group that is managing Madonna’s projects in Malawi, said Madonna is the largest individual donor to the hospital and funds programs run by Borgstein that include treating children with cancer. Borgstein said Malawi has only three pediatric surgeons.