A weekly newspaper had a royal visit this week as part of the continuing celebrations to mark its 200th anniversary year.
Princess Anne visited the Carlisle headquarters of the CN Group, which are home to the Cumberland News and sister daily the News and Star, as part of a series of engagements in north Cumbria.
During her time at the newspaper offices, she presented 40-year service awards to two of the titles’ longest-serving staff members – news editor Sue Crawford and advertising account manager June Bell.
The royal visit was part of the Cumberland News’s 200th anniversary celebrations, which have already seen the first edition of the title reprinted and an air ambulance appeal launched.
After arriving at the offices, Princess Anne was welcomed by CN Group chief executive Robin Burgess and chairman Lord Inglewood, before being taken to meet staff members.
Editor David Helliwell showed her around the editorial department, introducing her to staff members, including associate editor Anne Pickles, chief reporter Phil Coleman and deputy news editor Chris Story.
The Princess Royal was shown a page being pieced together by Cumberland News production editor Mark Walton, before moving on to the press hall to see how the newspapers are printed.
She also met a number of charities which have benefited from grants made by the Cumberland News Charitable Trust and presented a cheque for £5,000 to the East Cumbria Family Support Association from the trust.
Editor David Helliwell said: “We were delighted the princess was able to join us as part of the 200th celebrations. It’s given everyone a huge lift.
“She was very keen to know more about the role our newspapers play in the community and had already met some of the local charities whose work we champion.
“Hopefully she took away an impression that local media still has a vital job to do in helping to inform, entertain and bind communities together.”
In a speech to staff, Princess Anne congratulated the paper on its anniversary and the place it holds in its communities.
And before leaving Newspaper House, she was presented with a posy of flowers by nine-year-old Anna Helliwell, David’s daughter.