Gwynedd vote against Prince of Wales title ‘childish’ says Conservative Senedd member
A Conservative Senedd Member has criticised Gwynedd Council as “childish” for backing a campaign to abolish the Prince of Wales, and ban any future investiture from the country.
Councillors at Gwynedd voted by 46 votes to four to declare their opposition to the continuation of the title of ‘Prince of Wales’, and against holding another investiture in Wales. Four councillors abstained.
But Conservative Senedd Member Sam Rowlands said that the council had “better things to focus on”.
“It’s disappointing that Gwynedd Council are spending time backing ‘out of touch’ campaigns such as this, rather than focusing on tackling the real issues that face local Council taxpayers,” he said.
He added that he was “genuinely surprised” to see reference in councillors’ comments to the fact that the Prince of Wales was English.
“I would have hoped that Gwynedd Council would have reached out to the new Prince of Wales and encouraged him to act as an ambassador for Welsh culture, rather than making childish comments that can only sow division in public life.”
The vote by Gwynedd Council came after a petition against continuing with the Prince of Wales title attracted more than 37,000 signatures.
The motion was submitted by Blaenau Ffestiniog Councillor for Bowydd a Rhiw, Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn.
He said before the vote that he strongly believed that the title Prince of Wales continues the historical symbol of dominance held over Wales by the Royal Family of another country.
“Wales today is a modern, democratic country, with a Senedd making progress, giving the people of Wales a voice and a platform to drive change and develop as a nation,” he said.
“This archaic oppressive tradition is a blight on our nation and has been for centuries. It gives the impression that the people of Wales are owned by the system, rather than being free citizens living in our own country.
“It is holding us back from stepping out independently and making our own way in the world. In my view, this is the time for the people of Wales to be given the opportunity to make our voice heard and abolish this insulting title passed on from gentry as a continued oppressive symbol on our land and our people.
“It makes no sense, in my view that so much public money is used to sustain the Royal family, including the Prince of Wales role, given the cost of living crisis that our people are suffering up and down the country.”
Mae Cyngor Gwynedd wedi cefnogi cynnig i ddileu teitl Tywysog Cymru,
Wrth gyhoeddi’r cynnig i’r cyngor, dywedodd y Cynghorydd Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn fod teitl Tywysog Cymru “wedi bod yn friw ar ein cenedl ers canrifoedd.” pic.twitter.com/z6bavtCnso
— Newyddion S4C (@NewyddionS4C) October 6, 2022
The vote happened in the Gwynedd Council building just across the street from Caernarfon Castle where the investiture took place.
The Royal Family have already hinted that a new investiture would be a low-key affair, and sources briefed the Telegraph that the ceremony could happen at Llandaf Cathedral in Cardiff rather than in Caernarfon as was previously the case.
On a visit to Wales last week, Prince William himself is reported to have said that there were no current plans for an investiture.
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.
Cllr Wyn ap Elwyn said he believed that the investiture of 1969 divided the nation, created ill-feeling and irreparable damage within communities.
Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn said: “My Cymru is one where I hope my baby twin boys are born to a fair and equal Wales, where no one places upon us a social class, symbolism or stature that affects our proud Welsh entity. The people of Wales should be free to make our own choices and be free of any symbolic shackle placed upon us.
“In my view, it would be a complete and utter sin to entertain the idea of a ceremonial pageantry be held anywhere in Wales. It would be an insult to Wales and its people to hold an Investiture ceremony on Welsh soil.
“The days of Wales titled ‘a little principality’ was abolished in the sixteenth century’s Laws in Wales Act. It is high time the so-called honourary title, Prince of Wales, was also abolished to the history books.”
Other Councillors at the meeting also voices support for the move.
Cllr Rhys Tudor said: “I echo what has been said already here, a principality and a structure of inequality is not in line with my values. It is an ancient tradition.”
Cllr Gareth Jones said: “I said then, this must be the final investiture in our lifetime, but here we are and the nightmare is on us again.
“I am in support, I am a nationalist and agree Gwynedd Council should support the removal of the title of Prince of Wales.
“I am not a supporter of the monarchy but I do respect views of others, so let’s ask people with a consultation, let’s ask the people of Wales.”
Cllr Jina Gwyrfai said: “I think we must convey a clear message that the people of Wales have a choice. It is nothing short of a dictatorship. We are on our way to independence.”
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