Wales’ Prince or the Prince of Wales

The Investiture of Prince Charles as the Prince of Wales in 1969 was hoped to be a symbolic turning point in English relations with Wales and greater Britain. 10 years before he had been proclaimed Prince, but at the age of 20 it was decided he would be invested. Prior to the event, Prince Charles had done some ground work to warm up the welsh public by attending a Wales versus Ireland Rugby Union match and had spent the previous 10 weeks learning about the Welsh culture and language.

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Labour wanted to use the Investiture to show its concern for Wales at a time when Welsh nationalism was growing strongly.  However, Welsh nationalists still spread the popular rhetoric of Wales being subjugated by their English overlords. In 1966 they had managed to get a Plaid Cymru MP elected and the Welsh language protected and the most obvious expression of nationalism was when two members of the Movement for the Defense of Wales attempted to place a bomb on a railway the Prince was travelling on; however, they were both killed when it exploded prematurely.

 

However, many supported the monarchy and the title of the Prince of Wales. In the Labour held referendum held 10 years later, an overwhelming majority voted to remain under the political jurisdiction of Westminster and in polls at the time, 75% voted in support of the ceremony. However, with the decline in industry, there was a lot of concern not just from nationalists on the price being paid for arguably outdated ceremony. Prince Charles played his role in trying to pacify the Welsh nationalists, he had his promises in Welsh and English and toured the country meeting thousands of supporters. However, over the next decade there would be a bigger tests for Anglo-Welsh relations which could not be fixed by an English Prince of Wales.

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Image Credits: Geoff Charles, CCO.

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