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The Hobbit Royal Premiere: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen Meet a Kate Middleton-less Prince William

Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Peter Jackson Dave J Hogan/Getty Imagesg

There's nothing like the presence of a royal to add a sense of occasion. Well, unless you're Morrissey.

And despite the fact that The Hobbit's royal premiere in London today was wanting for neither pomp nor circumstance, Prince William nevertheless added to the festivities as he turned up solo, sans ailing wife Kate Middleton, to meet and greet the stars.

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Like stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Andy Serkis and director Peter Jackson before him, Wills made his way down the red green carpet and Bag End facsimile that popped up (along with thousands of fans) outside the Leicester Square theater.

"It's amazing," Freeman said. "I've never known a reception like it. It's a huge compliment to the film."

When asked by reporters if anything made him think twice before taking on the iconic role, he responded, much like a certain hobbit we know, that the time and distance commitment gave him (albeit brief) pause.

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Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Peter Jackson Dave J Hogan/Getty Imagesg

"It's a long time to not see your kitchen," he said, before taking a beat: "I couldn't sound any more like Bilbo Baggins."

As for his royal reception, Freeman was the last to meet with Wills, coming at the end of a rather lengthy and dwarf-filled receiving line. The Sherlock star spoke animatedly with the royal for several minutes before the gang headed into the screening.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is out (as if you needed reminding) Friday.

"I dare you to be disappointed," Freeman added on the carpet. "You won't be."

See celebs' arrivals at The Hobbit's world premiere in New Zealand!

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