HRH The Earl of Wessex guest of honour at Radio Times’ Annual Covers Party

Wednesday 1 February, 2023

HRH The Earl of Wessex was guest of honour at Radio Times’ annual Covers Party, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry, on Tuesday 31 January. Radio Times’s annual Covers Party celebrates those who have featured on its front cover in the previous 12 months

His Royal Highness attended the event Claridge’s Ballroom in London to receive two commemorative Radio Times covers featuring Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth; the first ever to feature the then Princess Elizabeth in October 1940 and Radio Times’ Platinum Jubilee cover from May 2022, with an image of the Monarch by David Bailey.

Queen Elizabeth featured on the cover of Radio Times 53 times, more than any other person in Radio Times’ 100-year history, including 10 as Princess Elizabeth and 43 times during her 70 year reign.

The Earl of Wessex was presented the special covers by Kirsty Young, who said ahead of the presentation:

“This year marks the 100th anniversary of Radio Times and throughout that century Britain and the world has changed, in some ways beyond recognition, but for majority of that time one thing remained constant. Elizabeth II was the first sovereign of the television age. A medium she mastered so completely, that by the last year of her life she was as comfortable performing a two-hander with Paddington Bear as she was delivering her annual Christmas message

In 2011 when the then Director General of the BBC presented Queen Elizabeth with a framed presentation of all her Radio Times covers she said she was struck by the record it provided not just of big ceremonial occasions but also of her family’s life. She was, reportedly, a keen tv viewer and, if the evidence of a photograph once used in a feature in the magazine is to be believed, a reader of the Radio Times.

In September I was privileged to be broadcasting for the BBC, and as we brought the television coverage of the funeral to an end, I remarked that the “Queen made history. She was history” and it’s our good fortune that all her reign was captured on film and in so many memorable and era defining images that we can enjoy for generations to come.”

“It was an honour to welcome The Earl of Wessex to Radio Times’ annual celebration of our cover stars, and fitting that it’s in our centenary year. Queen Elizabeth, and the Royal Family, graced our front cover regularly throughout her reign and she holds a special place in our history and with our readers.”

Tom Loxley, Radio Times’ Joint-Editor

With Radio Times celebrating its 100th anniversary in September, this year’s event also welcomed cover stars from across the decades, including: Monty Python’s Sir Michael Palin, Blackadder star Sir Tony Robinson, Wimbledon and Question of Sport presenter, Sue Barker, Doctor Who’s Peter Davison and Steven Moffat, Have I Got News for You regulars Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, newsreader Angela Rippon, and Sir Lenny Henry, Richard Curtis and Emma Freud, marking their work for Comic Relief.

Cover stars from 2022 included: Ashley Jensen, Diane Morgan, Lizzy Yarnold, Jo Whiley, Warren Brown, Professor Brian Cox, Jenny Agutter, Heidi Thomas, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Nicol, Dame Denise Lewis, Douglas Henshall, Alison O’ Donnell, Nadiya Buchkova, Richie Anderson, James Bye, Damian Lewis, Dafne Keen and Louis Theroux, plus the cast of Call the Midwife and contestants from the Great British Bake Off.