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‘Charles told me he didn’t want to be Prince of Wales’ says former Caernarfon Castle custodian

26 Sep 2022 4 minute read
Walter Richards on Pawb a’i Farn. Picture by Tinopolis / S4C

King Charles didn’t want to be Prince of Wales “any more than he wanted a headache” according to the former custodian of Caernarfon Castle.

Walter Richards who worked at Caernarfon Castle for 32 years told Pawb a’i Farn, the Welsh language equivalent of Question Time, that Prince Charles had made it clear to him that he didn’t want the title.

“I did a lot with Charles when he was Prince of Wales. I’ve done a lot with him privately,” he said. “He said a lot of things – and one thing I’ll say here is that he didn’t want to be Prince of Wales any more than he wanted a headache.

“I don’t care what anyone else in this room says – that’s what he said.”

He added however that whatever anyone thought of the monarchy, he found it hard to fault Prince Charles and the Queen themselves.

“I worked at Caernarfon Castle for 32 years and I’ve worked a lot with the Royal Family,” he said. “I’ve met the Queen there times. It’s not about the woman – she had a lovely personality. Everyone remembers her job. They need to remember that there was another side to her too.

“I’ve met Diana, I’ve met Lord Snowdon, I’ve met most of the Royal Family.

“One other thing I’ll say is that Cardiff was very angry that Charles was invested in Caernarfon. After he was invested they wanted to take everything to Cardiff. We got a message – anything you can burn, burn it, so it doesn’t go to Cardiff.

“Another message I’ve had is that William won’t be crowned in Caernarfon. He’ll be invested in Cardiff.”

‘Low-key’

Walter Richards’ recollection comes after a former speaker of the Senedd said that King Charles didn’t want the new Prince of Wales, William, to go through what he did during his 1969 investiture.

In an interview with ITV’s politics programme Sharp End, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas said that he had held a conversation with the then-Prince of Wales, Charles, on the topic of the invstiture during his time as the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport.

“I can tell you in discussions with him when he was still Prince of Wales, when I had cultural responsibilities in the Welsh Government, one of the issues I did raise with him was that I hoped there would never again be an investiture in Caernarfon Castle,” he said.

“He laughed and said, ‘Do you think I want to put William through what I went through?'”

Earlier this month the Telegraph quoted a Royal source saying that a very different investiture was planned this time.

“They want to make sure that any ceremony is about celebrating Wales, rather than focusing on them as individuals,” the Royal source said. “They have lived in Wales and they have spent a lot of time going back to Wales and they want to make sure anything they do is in keeping with the wishes of the Welsh people.”

“The Prince must also decide on arrangements for his investiture as Prince of Wales, which is scheduled to happen after the King’s coronation and is likely to be next year,” it says.

“William will become only the third Prince of Wales to be invested in Wales itself, and is said to favour a more low-key ceremony than the one at Caernarfon Castle for his father in 1969.

“One possibility is that the investiture could take place at Cardiff Cathedral, and a decision must also be taken on the role of the Princess of Wales in the ceremony, as no Prince of Wales in recent history has inherited the title while married.”

Over 35,000 people have now signed a petition calling for the Prince of Wales title to come to an end.

The Royal title was originally given to Edward II of Caernarfon, son of Edward I who conquered Wales, as a means of confirming that the ‘Tywysog Cymru’ title previously held by native princes of Wales was subservient to that of the King of England.

Since then it has been held by 21 different heirs to the throne, although seven of them never became king.

There have previously been long periods of history, such as between 1553 with the accession of Edward Tudor and the passing of the title to Henry Frederick Stuart 63 years later, when the title did not exist at all.


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago

Maybe his son doesn’t want to be either. We’re waiting to talk about it. It isn’t right so put it right.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago

During the Royal Progress that spring afternoon in 1969 there on the sports field in Dolgellau it was obvious from his demeanour that young Carlos had no appetite for the investiture or the roll of Prince of Wales what so ever…

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
2 months ago

Then why accept the title or confer it on his son, who has also accepted it without protest?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
2 months ago
Reply to  SundanceKid

Why accept…he was 19 and his mother was Queen I guess, but his hurry to pass it on to his son is something else; this dowager son king’s castle walls have taken a battering recently. His own behaviour regarding suitcases of Gulf money etc and his brother’s sins have punched holes in them and they and the title need to be shielded by his son and heir and the nation’s perfect family from day one. To heck with duty, for a billion bucks I’d be PoW, seriously though, he is making it just a Saturday morning job (can’t miss the… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
2 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

He was 21 when he was invested.

Seeing some interviews with him from the time played back on television, he appeared to be a somewhat pompous and entitled young man.

It doesn’t seem to me like much has changed so I will take these claims with a pinch of salt.

For someone who didn’t want it, he sure was eager to confer it on his son, and the latter was just as eager to accept it, given it was supposed to be the mourning period for the queen.

Last edited 2 months ago by SundanceKid
Gaynor
Gaynor
2 months ago

A lowkey Investiture to be organised in Tafarn y Rhos!!!

CapM
CapM
2 months ago

“One other thing I’ll say is that Cardiff was very angry that Charles was invested in Caernarfon. “ I’d be interested to know who or what “Cardiff” was and what there is to back this statement up” “After he was invested they wanted to take everything to Cardiff. We got a message – anything you can burn, burn it, so it doesn’t go to Cardiff.” What I’ve gathered from what Antony Armstrong Jones, who designed the show, said was that he didn’t want any of the stage scenery ending up as tacky souveniers so he ensured that it was destroyed.… Read more »

Julia
Julia
2 months ago

Cardiff Cathedral? It’s really pathetic that simple details like this are reported so ineptly.

Richard 1
Richard 1
2 months ago
Reply to  Julia

looks like the “Cardiff Cathedral” is quoting the Telegraph quoting the “royal source”. Can’t blame NdotC for rubbing in the irony

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