Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall celebrate PRS for Music’s centenary

Their Royal Highnesses Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall celebrate PRS for Music’s centenary with cream of British songwriting talent

Clarence house

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall hosted a reception at Clarence House on Thursday 20 November to celebrate PRS for Music’s centenary.  

The special celebration was held to recognise the songwriters and composers who have shaped the musical landscape of the last hundred years. It was attended by some of the most successful songwriters, composers and music publishers in the industry as well as politicians, key PRS for Music licensees and the PRS for Music senior management team.

The Performing Right Society, now PRS for Music, was founded on 6 March 1914 to protect copyright and provide an income for music creators and their publishers. Spurred on by the 1911 Copyright Act, renowned publishers William Boosey and Oliver Hawkes came together to license businesses that played music, passing the royalties onto songwriters and composers.

Fast forward a century and PRS for Music is still serving the same purpose: to help ensure its members receive fair payment whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced. Over the past 100 years, the society has gone from collecting £1,572 in year one, to £665.7m in 2013.

The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over. Music contributes £3.8bn to the UK economy and the UK is one of only three net exporters of music in the world.


It was a true honour to see our centenary recognised by Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. We are so proud of what has been written, performed and accomplished in the last 100 years. This special Clarence House celebration recognised the contribution of PRS for Music’s members to the cultural, social and economic fabric of the UK and the world.

Guy Fletcher OBE, PRS Chair

The reception was attended by over eighty guests including, Lily Allen, David Arnold, Ray Davies, Howard Goodall, Gary Kemp, Howard Kretzmer, David Lowe, Brian May, Sir Paul McCartney, Laura Mvula and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

About PRS for Music

PRS for Music represents the rights of songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK and around the world. As a membership organisation the company ensures creators are paid whenever their music and songs are played, performed, broadcast or reproduced in public and provides business and community groups with access to 22.2 million songs through its music licences. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

In 2016, the organisation collected over half a billion pounds (£621.5m) on behalf of its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.