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May 7, 2014

The Queen and Prince Philip join leading press figures to celebrate 150 years of the Journalists’ Charity

By Press Gazette

The Queen celebrated 150 years of the Journalists' Charity today at a reception in Stationers' Hall, London.

Newspaper editors, columnists, television broadcasters and senior executives from the media industry chatted to the Queen (who is patron of the charity) and the Duke of Edinburgh at the event.

The Queen is pictured (above) meeting Lord Rothermere and Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.

The Journalists' Charity was founded by Charles Dickens and others and changed its name from the Newspaper Press Fund in 2005 to recognise the help it gives to reporters working across all parts of the industry.

Today the organisation runs retirement, care and residential homes and also provides emergency grants to those in urgent need of help.

Among the guests were Culture Secretary Sajid Javid, Daniel Mulhall, Ireland's ambassador to the UK, and columnists Richard Littlejohn and Trevor Kavanagh, both ambassadors for the charity.

The charity's chairman Laurie Upshon hosted the event and said: "The visit cements a connection that goes back 150 years.

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"The Royal Family have been very good supporters of the charity since the very start, Queen Victoria actually donated £50 three times.

"What it does is raise the profile of the charity, not many young journalists are aware the charity exists.

"We're hoping to get as many journalists as possible to take the word forward, that's why we invited a group of more than 50 young journalists to be here and get the chance to meet the Queen – they will remember it and I hopefully they will remember the charity."

Upshon said modern developments interested the Queen: "She was intrigued by the changes to the industry, the way there's online work now, changes to the print industry. She was intrigued young journalists are still taught shorthand."

Before leaving, Lord Rothermere, the charity's president and chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday newspapers, announced the presentation of a gift for the Queen.

She was given a bound copy of a speech made by her father George VI exactly 84 years ago when he was the Duke of York and chairman of the charity's annual appeal dinner.

In the address from 1930 he said he knew that the "high pressures at which reporters and sub editors, critics and leader writers work is probably greater than that demanded, at all events as a continuous effort, by any other profession".

The Queen is pictured below meeting Anna Botting from Sky News, Sunday Times foreign correspondent Christina Lamb and Sunday Times editor Martin Ivens. Pictures from the Journalists' Charity.

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