Thousands sign petition calling for an end to the ‘Prince of Wales’ title
Two thousand people have signed a petition calling for an end to the ‘Prince of Wales’ title.
The petition called ‘end Prince of Wales title out of respect for Wales’ says that since the days of the Welsh Princes the title has been “held exclusively by Englishmen as a symbol of dominance over Wales”.
There is currently no Prince of Wales as the former Prince Charles became King Charles III at the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth.
Prince William’s office has previously briefed the press that he will take up the Prince of Wales title but slim it down. It has said that he plans to slash by half the 140 or so staff employed by the current Prince of Wales.
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 death of Arthur Tudor and the passing of the title to Henry Frederick Stuart 57 years later, when the title did not exist at all.
“The title remains an insult to Wales and is a symbol of historical oppression and also implies that Wales is still a principality, undermining Wales’ status as a nation and a country,” the petition’s author, Trystan Gruffydd, said.
The title does not automatically pass on to the heir of the throne. It was only bestowed on Charles in 1958, six years after Elizabeth II’s reign started.
The investiture at Caernarfon Castle did not happen until almost a decade later, in 1969, and such was the political turmoil that soldiers had to be drafted in to keep the peace.
Opposition ranged from Dafydd Iwan’s songs, to Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s non-violent protests, to a bombing campaign by the MAC.
In September of last year the campaign group Republic put up billboards around Wales with the message, “Nid does angen tywysog ar Gymru / Wales doesn’t need a prince.”
The group said they want the nation to hear their message that the Royal Family is “wrong in principle” and should be abolished in favour of an elected head of state.
“The royals are on collision course with British values. The 2020s should be the decade when we finally get to decide who we have as our elected head of state,” Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, said.
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies criticised the billboards for not being “reflective of Welsh public opinion”.
A poll in June of this year for ITV suggested that 46% wanted another Prince of Wales, 31% said there shouldn’t be another one, and 23% weren’t sure.
Yesterday the former Llywydd of the Senedd, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, questioned the need to continue with the title of the Prince of Wales following the death of Elizabeth II.
Speaking of S4C Newyddion, he said that there was “no meaning” to the title which was a position with “no meaning to it in the constitution”.
“And I think, although nothing will happen this time, I I think this title will disappear because it doesn’t make any sense for a devolved, democratic country like Wales to have a prince these days,” he said.
“I think there needs to be a discussion in Wales regarding what should happen to the title Prince of Wales and what is the use of that title, especially since Wales has become a new, democratic, republic.
“What sense does it make to have a Prince of Wales who has no constitutional function? But that is a matter for discussion.”
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