Stars line the red carpet for long-awaited James Bond premiere

Written by Lianne KolirinLeah Dolan CNNLondon

It may have been a long time coming, but Tuesday’s world premiere of the new James Bond film did not disappoint.

Stars of screen and stage turned out alongside British royalty for the glittering “No Time to Die” red carpet event at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Britain's Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, speaks to British actor Daniel Craig upon arrival for the world premiere of the new film James Bond film, "No Time To Die," in London, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

Britain’s Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, left, speaks to British actor Daniel Craig upon arrival for the world premiere of the new film James Bond film, “No Time To Die,” in London, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP) Credit: Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP

Ana de Armas wore a custom velvet Louis Vuitton gown with a plunging neckline and thigh-high split.

Ana de Armas wore a custom velvet Louis Vuitton gown with a plunging neckline and thigh-high split. Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

The long-delayed movie, which is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final performance as the iconic British agent, was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but it has been set back numerous times due to the global pandemic.

Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, who attended alongside her husband, Prince William, and her in-laws, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, dazzled onlookers in a floor-length gilded gown by Jenny Packham.

Naomie Harris, who stars as Eve Moneypenny, arrived in a white sequined Michael Kors Collection slip dress.

Naomie Harris, who stars as Eve Moneypenny, arrived in a white sequined Michael Kors Collection slip dress. Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh donned a misty-hued Elie Saab dress.

Former Bond girl Michelle Yeoh donned a misty-hued Elie Saab dress. Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

Kate was photographed chatting with Craig, who looked as dapper as ever in a double-breasted cerise velvet tuxedo jacket by Anderson & Sheppard over a white shirt and black bow tie.

Siblings Finneas O'Connell and Billie Eilish, who co-wrote the movie's theme tune, attended the premiere.

Siblings Finneas O’Connell and Billie Eilish, who co-wrote the movie’s theme tune, attended the premiere. Credit: P. Lehman/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, of "Fleabag" fame, paired a black jumpsuit by Olivier Theyskens with an Azzaro cream overcoat.

Screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, of “Fleabag” fame, paired a black jumpsuit by Olivier Theyskens with an Azzaro cream overcoat. Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

The 53-year-old actor, who first took on the Bond role in the 2006 blockbuster “Casino Royale,” told the PA news agency his plans to retire from the franchise haven’t changed, but he was delighted to be at the event.

“It’s been a bittersweet couple of years, so one has to keep things in perspective. The decision to leave is still there, I’m just glad that we’ve got a chance to celebrate tonight and have a premiere. That seemed like such a far away thing for a while,” Craig said.

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose previous credits include “Jane Eyre” and “True Detective,” and written in part by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “No Time to Die” is the 25th movie in the James Bond series.

Also dazzling onlookers were Craig’s co-stars, Naomie Harris, Lashana Lynch, Ana de Armas and Léa Seydoux.

Tennis ace Emma Raducanu walked the red carpet in a Hellenic silver Dior gown.

Tennis ace Emma Raducanu walked the red carpet in a Hellenic silver Dior gown. Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Rami Malek, who immortalized Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody," plays a villiain in the new Bond movie.

Rami Malek, who immortalized Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” plays a villiain in the new Bond movie. Credit: P. Lehman/Barcroft Media/Getty Images

Rami Malek, who played villain Safin, and M actor Dame Judi Dench, also graced the rain-soaked red carpet.

Many hope the long-anticipated film will kick-start a welcome return to movie theaters following its release in the UK on Thursday.

Despite much speculation about who will take up the mantle from Craig, producers of the James Bond franchise confirmed Tuesday they will not begin their search for the new leading actor until 2022.

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