Charles meets the media at news agency's 150th birthday event

The Prince of Wales has heard how news technology has changed over the years as the world's media prepares to cover the wedding of his youngest son.

Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were at a reception at Tate Britain celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Press Association news agency.

The prince was following in his mother's footsteps.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by Clive Marshall, chief executive of the PA Group and chairman Murdoch MacLennan (Yui Mok/PA)
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are greeted by PA Group chief executive Clive Marshall and chairman Murdoch MacLennan (Yui Mok/PA)

In 1968, the Queen attended the centenary celebration for the PA, which according to legend was conceived in the back of a hansom cab by four newspapermen on a foggy night in Victorian London.

The agency was set up in 1868 in a small office in an alleyway off Fleet Street, producing news telegrams and acting as the eyes and ears in London of a group of regional newspaper owners.

It now supplies news, stills, video and a wide range of other services to customers around the world.

The Duchess of Cornwall meets royal correspondents (left to right) Alan Tony Jones, Laura Elston and royal photographer John Stillwell (Yui Mok/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall meets royal correspondents (left to right) Alan Tony Jones, Laura Elston and royal photographer John Stillwell (Yui Mok/PA)

PA Group chief executive Clive Marshall described how the agency supplied a picture of the wedding of Charles' parents in 1947 using chartered aircraft and weighted packages dropped at pre-arranged locations around the UK.

He contrasted this with the technology which will be used to transmit pictures of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle around the world in real time, adding: "So much has changed over the last 150 years - but our values have not.

Charles learned how the agency's work had changed when he attended an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Press Association (Yui Mok/PA)
Charles learned how the Press Association's work has evolved when he attended an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the agency (Yui Mok/PA)

"During that time, PA has been a byword for a service that is fast, fair and accurate.

"As a result we have been trusted.

"Trusted by the people we report upon, who know they will get a fair deal; trusted by our customers who know they can use the news that breaks on the PA wire without making any further checks, and ultimately trusted by the public."

Earlier, the royal couple met innovators in fashion, design and technology during a series of engagements across London, including a visit to YouTube's King's Cross base, where they tried on virtual reality headsets and met 'vloggers' Joe Sugg and Louise Pentland.

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