Prince Charles, Paul McCartney and Lily Allen Toast PRS For Music's Centennial
Late last week, their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception at their official London residence, Clarence House, to celebrate 100 years of U.K. collection society PRS for Music.
Sir Paul McCartney, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ray Davies, Brian May, Lily Allen, Laura Mvula and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp were among the attendees, alongside a small selection of PRS' senior management team and key licensees. Billboard was also there to witness a jovial Prince Charles acknowledge some of the U.K.'s best known songwriters and composers.
"All of you play such an incredibly important part in this country's artistic, cultural and economic life, that the least I could do would be to hold a small party to celebrate the PRS centenary and also celebrate what all of you contribute to this country, and all around the world," Prince Charles told guests at the Nov. 20 event.
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"My wife and I salute you and thank you for the extraordinary talent and creativity you give to our country," he went on to say, adding: "I want to thank you for what you do economically, culturally and artistically, and also thank the PRS, who tries to make sure all of you get what you deserve at the end of the day. So happy centenary."
"I always feel inspired by events like this because it reminds me that there's somebody who cares about music, artists and songwriters in this country," Mvula, a singer-songwriter, told Billboard at the reception. "I feel looked after, which is necessary when you're on this kind of lonely artistic journey, because sometimes you can feel a bit isolated."
The Sony-signed singer also explained that because she arrived a few minutes late to the reception, her meeting with Prince Charles was not quite the composed, dignified affair that she had envisaged. "I was aware that because it's cold outside, I had snot flying out my nose. My hair was kind of jagged and my shirt was half tucked in. But he was really cool," said the singer.
Ray Davies was equally effusive, with the Kinks singer telling Billboard that "songwriting is a very solitary existence, so it's wonderful to meet people who are as lonely and isolated as I am."