Presses roll for Prince Philip tributes

Jo Francis
Monday, April 12, 2021

Newspaper and magazine printers swung into action over the weekend producing special issues to mark the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Newspaper tributes included record-breaking pagination
Newspaper tributes included record-breaking pagination

Prince Philips’ death, two months’ short of what would have been his 100th birthday, was announced just after midday on Friday with publishers immediately switching up their plans as they rushed to create commemorative editions of the weekend newspapers. 

Several newspapers chose to use special wraparound cover designs as part of the array of tributes. 

Reach Printing Services produces the media group's own titles and is also the UK's biggest contract newspaper printer. Managing director Graham Poulett said: "As ever in these situations, it was a great team effort. Our aim always is to provide a great service to our readers and it was important to us  that our national and regional titles were able to cover Friday's sad news in a way that befitted this significant and historic event.   

"The plans were put together on Friday afternoon, all of our titles were up-paged, print figures increased and we produced pre-printed supplements for a number of titles. As the news coincided with our planned coverage of the Grand National at Aintree this also had to be taken into account," he explained.    

"Our editorial and pre-press teams worked closely with our print site teams and they in turn worked closely with our distribution and third party print partners on the detail of the plans as the changes affected all areas of our printing and distribution network." 

The Daily Mail produced its biggest-ever issue at 144pp, with the record-breaking edition containing a series of tributes and hundreds of photographs. 

Publisher DMG Media also gave readers a behind the scenes look at the workings of its print sites by detailing how the bumper issue was produced.   

Many of the Sunday papers included special tribute pull-out sections. 

Other printers have also experienced a spike in demand. Gravure printer Prinovis UK supplies a number of major newspaper publishers including News UK, DMG Media and Telegraph Media Group. Commercial director Mark Pfeiffer commented: “It’s been great to play our part delivering the increased activity such a sad event has initiated.”

Weekly magazines such as Hello! (below) are also gearing up to produce special editions this week. 

Walstead Group prints both Hello! and OK! magazines, as well as a raft of other titles likely to produce special content, such as Country Life. Group sales director Jon Hearnden said Prince Philip's passing had had an immediate impact on activity levels. 

“We are experiencing an increase in quantities from a variety of customers, as well as an uplift in orders for one-off projects because of this sad news,” he said. 

The Duke of Edinburgh had also granted Royal Warrants to a variety of printers, stationers and booksellers: Bibliophile, Smythson, Hatchards, Jones Yarrell Leadenhall, and Paragon Customers Communications (Hertford).

Royal Warrants become void upon the death of the grantor, and the company or individual then has two years to discontinue the use of the Royal Arms in connection with the business.

Nearly 20 years ago the Duke handed out medals to two print bosses as part of a special City & Guilds ceremony.

One of the Prince’s passions was carriage driving and he had regularly featured in Carriage Driving magazine, published by Printweek owner Mark Allen group. The title is planning to pay its own tribute with a special extended issue for June/July.

“We are putting together a celebration of his involvement with carriage driving, with contributions from those who knew him and competed against him,” explained editor Georgie Green.



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