Prince of Wales investiture ‘a decision that should be made in Wales’ says Plaid Cymru leader
The leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price has said that any decision over the investiture of the new Prince of Wales should be made in Wales.
His comments come after over 20,000 people signed a petition opposing the passing on of the controversial title to Prince William.
Adam Price had originally said on Friday that while there would be “a time” for a public debate around the title, at the moment Plaid Cymru’s thoughts were “with the Royal Family as they grieve”.
His comments came after First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Sunday and yesterday that there was “no rush” to another investiture and that a discussion should take place in the meantime.
Adam Price added: “I welcome what the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, had to say on the question of an investiture.
“I’ve seen stories in the London press that an investiture is going to happen and I think that a line is crossed because that gives the Prince of Wales a quasi-official status in Welsh life.
“I think that’s a decision that we in Wales should make in a time when we’re living in a modern democratic Wales – it’s a decision we need to make here before any announcement is made.”
He added that there should be no rush to make a decision but that it was one for Members of the Senedd to make.
“I’m a republican, and there is sensitivity and pain around the [Prince of Wales] title for many of us,” he said. “But others have a different view and we need a discussion on the matter.”
Yesterday Mark Drakeford said that there is a “discussion” to be had about on an elected Head of State, but it should not be had this week.
In an interview with ITV’s Sharp End, the First Minister said that there needed to be a focus on mourning the Queen.
Asked by presenter Rob Osborne whether there should be a debate on the issue, he said: “Well, not this week.
“I think there’s a discussion there,” he said. “It’s alive and happening already. But this week is a week about reflecting on the life, the service, the memories that people have of someone who has been part of everybody’s life.”
He once again confirmed that he wasn’t consulted before the creation of the title of Prince of Wales for Prince William, but said that he hadn’t expected to be.
“No, wouldn’t expect to be there’s no constitutional significance in the role of the Prince of Wales,” he said. “It doesn’t have responsibilities of its own.
“I think it’s a decision that the king has made and in some ways that has avoided what might have been a drawn-out debate about whether or not it should happen.”
On Sunday the First Minister had said he was not told there would be a new Prince of Wales before King Charles’ announcement and says there’s no rush to investiture so that “a debate” can be had.
Mark Drakeford told Radio Cymru that “attitudes had changed” since the last investiture in 1969 and that Prince William needed to come to Wales and find out “where he can make a difference”.
“I hadn’t heard anything about it before the new King said it,” he said. “He said it very early in his new period. He had thought about that for a long time in terms of what he wanted to say.
“The role of the Prince of Wales isn’t a constitutional one. But in the Royal Family, it’s an important one.”
Asked if an investiture was imminent, he added: “I had no chance to ask about that – and there’s no hurry. Of course, this week everything is happening quickly and that’s necessary.
“But a lot of what is going to happen now after the funeral on Monday and there will be more time to think about the best way and opportunities for the new Prince to come to Wales and learn more about the priorities of the people of Wales. And see where he can make a difference.
“So there’s no hurry to do anything else I don’t think.”
Asked whether he thought the Royal Family were sensitive to the strength of feeling about the role of the Prince of Wales, he said: “I think they are. I think they know that Wales in 2022 is not Wales as it was in 1969. A lot of things have changed – attitudes have changed as well.
“That’s why I think that the best way is not to hurry to do other things but to take time. To come to Wales to meet with people, to think about what the new Prince of Wales can do effectively. If there’s a debate to be had, to give a chance to that debate.”
King Charles III announced that he was making William and Kate the new Prince and Princess of Wales during his first speech on Friday.
The King said he was creating his son and heir, William, Prince of Wales adding: “With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”
But a petition calling for the Royals to “end Prince of Wales title out of respect for Wales” surged to 20,000 signatures over the next few days.
The petition says that since the days of the Welsh Princes the title has been “held exclusively by Englishmen as a symbol of dominance over Wales”.
“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 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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