Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg revealed he got "a buzz" from meeting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the royal premiere of his new blockbuster War Horse, on the eve of the Duchess's 30th birthday.
His British cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson, David Thewlis and newcomer Jeremy Irvine also walked the red carpet at the Odeon Leicester Square alongside 600 serving and ex-military personnel.
"It's an honour to be here with the royals. This is my first royal premiere for the Duke and Duchess, having done them before for the Queen and the Queen Mother. This is a wonderful occasion tonight," said the director. "This is so exciting. I get a buzz. You never grow out of something like this."
The premiere was in aid of the Foundation of Prince William and Harry, which helps the welfare of those in the armed forces.
"It's a huge privilege that the film has been blessed by them and they decided to lend their support behind it," said Hiddleston, who plays Captain Nicholls.
Watson joked that she had been briefed about approaching the Duchess. "We've been told to address her as 'Ma'am' as in 'jam'," she revealed.
The equine star of the film Joey also trotted down the carpet.
The First World War epic, which was nominated for best drama at the Golden Globes, is based on Michael Morpurgo's novel. It follows on from the success of the play, which debuted at the National Theatre in London in 2007 before sell-out West End and Broadway runs.
"It feels really rather good and I can't quite believe it has happened," said Morpurgo.
War Horse opens in cinemas on Friday January 13.