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’21st century Wales does not need a Prince of Wales investiture’ says Senedd Llywydd Elin Jones

31 Oct 2022 4 minute read
King Charles III speaking in the Senedd alongside Llywydd Elin Jones. Picture by Andrew Matthews.

Senedd Llwydd Elin Jones has said that “21st century Wales does not need an investiture” and that the two ceremonies of 20th century Wales “should be consigned to that century”.

Her comments come after First Minister Mark Drakeford said over the weekend that he thought that Prince William’s new role “does include things like an Investiture” but that “I would not take 1969 as anything like a model to use”.

But writing in the Western Mail newspaper, Elin Jones said that the 20th-century investitures were an invention from that era that reflected the political needs of Welsh politicians at the time.

The “ostentatious investiture ceremony” in 1910 was a “publicity stunt” by David Lloyd George and the 1969 ceremony partly a reaction by the Welsh Secretary George Thomas to Plaid Cymru winning their first MP, she said.

“Ceremonial Prince of Wales investitures were therefore the product of the political imagination of the 20th Century and should be consigned to that century,” she said.

“The Welsh people and the Welsh Parliament can design a modern relationship with the Prince of Wales, based on people, not pageantry.

“If William and Kate want to meet people throughout Wales to learn first-hand of their hopes and concerns, then today’s politicians should free them to do so, rather than encumber them with the controversy of investiture.

“21st century Wales does not need an investiture. The 21st century monarchy may not want it either.”

‘Cement’

Elin Jones added that despite taking part in many of the events around the Queen’s funeral and King’s ascension as the Senedd Llwyydd, she remained a republican and would vote for independence too.

She added however that the Royal Family seemed to have a better idea than the UK Government how to treat Wales as a modern democracy.

“For me, most striking of all during that period of ceremony and mourning, was the respect paid by the Royal Family to its four capitals and four parliaments, in almost equal measure,” she said.

“The King visited Cardiff, London, Belfast and Edinburgh. He received the condolences and addressed the four parliaments. In our case he did so in both our official languages. He met the people of all four countries.

“There’s no doubt that the Royal Family ‘get’ devolution. Had the Queen died pre-1999, then subsequent events and visits would have looked very different to 2022.

“The cynical will think that it’s all a clever ploy to cement the countries of the United Kingdom together as component parts of one whole. It may well be.

“But if it is a tactic to cement the union, it’s far more likely to prove successful than the one adopted by Her Majesty and now His Majesty’s UK Governments to undermine and roll back devolution.

“Westminster Government could learn a thing or two from the Royal Family when it comes to respecting parliaments and their democratic mandate.”

‘Platform’

In his own interview with the i newspaper the First Minister said that he was also a republican and that one of his few rebellions as a teenager was to refuse to watch the investiture in 1969.

But he said that the decision about having a new Prince of Wales had been made by the Royal Family.

“Whatever people think of the decision, good or bad, it’s now about how to make the best use of that decision,” he said.

“And the best way to make use of the decision is to give the new incumbent the time, he will need to work out for himself how he wants to use the platform that that brings.

“And I think that does include things like an Investiture. I would not take 1969 as anything like a model to use.”

On learning the Welsh language he said: “Well, I think over time, if he finds he has an aptitude for the language, then that will be a decent ambition to have.”


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CJPh
CJPh
26 days ago

“21st century Wales does not need a Prince of Wales investiture” is surely a misquote. “21st century Wales does not need a Prince of Wales”. That’s better.

Frank
Frank
25 days ago

Silly titles in 2022 implying that someone is more important than someone else. Grow up ffs.

Evan Aled Bayton
Evan Aled Bayton
25 days ago

The title Prince of Wales has nothing to do with Wales and is actually an honorific for the heir apparent to the throne of England. There are lots of similar titles in Europe like Prince of Orange for the Dutch King – Orange is in France. Originally as I understand it the investiture was a similar ceremony to that for a new duke and involved robing the individual and handing them a baton. I have read that most such ceremonies took place at Westminster similar to introducing a peer to the House of Lords. The monarchy can do what they… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
24 days ago

Nice spin there but we all know how the bestowing of the Prince of Wales title on England’s heirs came about.

James Lewis
James Lewis
25 days ago

The fact that the decision to have a so-called ‘Prince of Wales’ was taken by the Royal Family tells you all you need to know about the undemocratic and arrogant nature of the UK State, and our pitiful, subservient role within it.

Pete Cuthbert
Pete Cuthbert
25 days ago

Since PoW is an English invention by the English monarchy, perhaps we should not interfere in ‘things English’. However, if there is to be an English PoW then perhaps we should discuss the role that we in Cymru might expect. For starters I would offer the idea that the PoW should champion the needs of Wales. For example the inequity of the Barnet Forumula, ridiculing the daft idea that the Birming to London HS2 Commuter link goes through Wales and so on. After all as we saw with Charles, being somewhat (i.e. non party) political is ‘allowed’ under the English… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
24 days ago
Reply to  Pete Cuthbert

The PoW was a Welsh invention, appropriated by the English monarchy. I think we have every right to interfere in something that affects our country. An investiture is likely to confer a constitutional role – something that is unacceptable without consultation with the people of Wales – which will lead to foreign dignitaries and heads of state recognising that title. This is something that the UK Government (and the monarchy) is very likely to want. It is another potential anchor to the union. As the monarchy (even today) is an extension of the British Government, there is no way the… Read more »

CapM
CapM
25 days ago

“For starters I would offer the idea that the PoW should champion the needs of Wales.”

Many people appear oblivious to the fact that the POW (Prince of Wales), a title inextricably linked with the title EOC (Earl of Chester) are only bestowed on someone who is the HATE (Heir Apparent to the Throne of England).
I’d suggest that the HATE would not do anything to champion either Cymru or Caer that might jeopardize the prospects of the kingdom of England.

David Harking
David Harking
25 days ago

I think Elin’s comments are commendable and spoken from the heart.

Ivor Schilling
Ivor Schilling
25 days ago
Reply to  David Harking

Me too. I am surprised by them and want more of the same.

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
25 days ago

I’m sure ARTie has Tweeted his “thoughts” on the subject.

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