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Prince Edward visits Advertiser office to mark paper's 150th anniversary

The Advertiser was paid a royal visit this week to celebrate a key milestone in the paper's history.

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, greeted staff in Bell Street yesterday (Thursday), as part of the Maidenhead Advertiser's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The paper turned 150 in July this year and the Queen's youngest son was given an insight into the work that goes into producing it every week, ever since the first edition in 1869.

He also learnt about the Advertiser's owner - the Louis Baylis Trust - which has distributed more than £6million of our profits to fund good causes in the community since 1952.

The Prince, 55, was presented with the first ever edition of sister paper the Windsor and Eton Express, dated 1812, as well as a photograph of his wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, and daughter Lady Louise Windsor.

The snap was taken by 'Tiser and Express photographer Ian Longthorne at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May.

During his visit, Prince Edward met four charities in the area: Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service, The Link Foundation, Maidenhead and District Stroke Club, and Alzheimers Dementia Support.

Each one set out the vital work they do in the community.

Baylis Media chairman Jason Baylis then showed The Earl the paper's digital archive, which allows people to delve into the pages of history, some going back more than 200 years.

The Baylis Media Ltd ePaper and Archive is an online portal which holds printed editions of the Advertiser from 1870, the Windsor Express from 1812 and the Slough Express from 1950.

Prince Edward then made his way upstairs to the newsroom, where he met members of the advertising and editorial department, production, sub-editors and reporters.

He then unveiled a plaque and cut a cake to mark the occasion, from the Handmade Cake Company.

"The important thing about local newspapers is that they are much closer to their readers and their communities so you have to get it right," the Prince said.

"If you get it wrong, they let you know big time, so you do have to be that much more responsible.

"The local newspaper network is really important for the service it provides to the communities and holding everybody to account as well.

"Good luck with the newspaper."

Upon receiving his gifts, Prince added that it was 'exceptionally kind' and joked it is 'always good to have an up-to-date copy of the newspaper'.

Baylis Media CEO Jeremy Spooner said: "It is a real pleasure to have you and all the other people to come here to our head offices to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Advertiser.

"If Louis Baylis was here now, looking back, he would be proud of what his paper has achieved.

"The residents trust what they read in the paper and that is the challenge going forward – to carry on being that voice.

"It is an honour to have you here and we thank you for coming along today."

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