‘Don’t have another Prince of Wales investiture’, historian warns unionists
A historian has warned unionists against having another Prince of Wales investiture.
Professor Martin Johnes of Swansea University argued that the investiture of Prince Charles in Caernarfon in 1969 was “great PR for Welsh nationalism.”
The investiture in 1969 proved to be an excellent target for satirists – from the mocking cartoons of Tafod y Ddraig and Lol to Dafydd Iwan’s records, such as Carlo.
Arwel Vittle, author of Dim Croeso ’69 has previously written on Nation.Cymru: “What better target for ridicule for young nationalists who wanted to change and modernise their country, than a pseudo-medieval ceremony in a castle full of obsequious old men?”
Students across all University of Wales campuses held several sit-in demonstrations and hunger strikes to mark their opposition to the royal event.
Professor Johnes said that he “cannot see what unionism would have to gain” if a similar ceremony were held if and when Prince William, Duke of Cambridge becomes the Prince of Wales.
He told the The National: “1969 saw two different visions of Wales, and although the British vision far outweighed the Welsh nationalism at the time, it was great PR for Welsh nationalism.
“If it happened again, there would be a very loud minority who would use it as a way of promoting their vision to the world.
“You would see what currently happens on social media being aired more openly to a larger audience.
“If you asked my advice, I would say not to have that investiture. I cannot see what unionism would have to gain.
He added: “The current UK government does seem very much in favour of muscular unionism, but that doesn’t work. It is about a singular idea of what Britishness is.
“The majority of people feel Welsh and British. The union has survived by allowing people to have two nationalities, and good politics plays those two.
“Muscular unionism doesn’t play that game. It is very easy to imagine the current UK government using an investiture to promote unionism and Britishness, but they would forget that the investiture in 1961 was to promote Welshness and Britishness.
“That is Welsh history, the Conservatives have done more for Welsh nationalism through annoying Welsh people, than anyone.”