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Right-wing press takes aim at Michael Sheen for criticism of King Charles visit on Owain Glyndŵr day

20 Sep 2022 6 minute read
Michael Sheen

Actor Michael Sheen has been criticised in the right-wing press for speaking out against King Charles’s visit to Wales on Owain Glyndŵr day.

Articles have appeared in the Spectator and Daily Mail featuring criticism of Michael Sheen for his decision to question whether the title of Prince of Wales meant anything to King Charles and William.

The actor had asked whether the King and new Prince of Wales had deliberately timed the visit to clash with Owain Glyndŵr day, which would have been “insensitive to the point of insult”.

But if the visit was arranged without realising the history of the day in which Owain Glyndŵr was made Prince of Wales in 1404 “then one does wonder what being Prince of Wales was so long actually meant if you were not aware of what that day means,” he said.

The Daily Mail claimed that a “row” had “broken out” as a result of Michael Sheen’s words, but only proffered three tweets as proof that the site’s users were unhappy.

“The 53-year-old actor faced some backlash on social media after he called the King and Queen Consort’s trip on Owain Glyndŵr day as ‘insensitive’ and ‘insulting’,” they said.

In an article in the Spectator, columnist Gareth Roberts said the speech was a “kind of territorial display, like a cat urinating”.

He said that Michael Sheen was an “OBE-boomeranger and self-proclaimed non-for-profit entity who cannot stand not to be beaming from some media device at any given hour of the day”.

He said that the purpose of the speech was to “signal that it is inconceivable for a person with ordinary, widely held opinions to enter the arts world”.

“It is for The Good People with the correct thoughts, however bizarre or outlandish,” he said. “Anybody else: back off! If you work in the arts and think the wrong thoughts, better keep quiet.”

Michael Sheen’s words in full

“It’s an absolutely beautiful day here in Wales. It’s also a very important day for a number of reasons. Firstly, because today, September the 16th is the day that the new King Charles, after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth – it’s the first time he’s visiting Wales as King Charles.

“It’s been an extraordinary last period of time very emotional sort of era defining period of time. So much tradition, history, and so much sense of loss and sadness and grief.

“And I offer my sincerest sympathies to Charles and his family on the loss of their mother, grandmother – and to everybody who’s feeling such depth of emotion and a sense of loss.

“Obviously, for for people who feel so proud of their Britishness the queen is very much a symbol of that. And I think it’s really connected with people because of her extraordinary sense of duty and service to our country.

“And that she’s been there for so long, and it’s been such a sort of fixed point. It has been an extraordinary overwhelming period of time and still is, I think.

“And to see the extraordinary sense of history and tradition. And all the symbolism that goes with that has been, has been very, very powerful.

“But of course, there’s, there’s more than one story in these isles. There’s more than one traditional, more than one history.

“And today is a very important day, as well, because September the 16th is the day that many people here in Wales celebrate Owain Glyndwr who was the last native Prince of Wales – self proclaimed.

“He led a rebellion against the English crown not only to free his nation as he saw it, but to create his nation. Owain Glyndwr’s vision for what Wales could be and what he started to try and build began with his reclaiming of himself as a native Prince of Wales.

“Before him had been Llywelyn ap Gruffydd who had been acknowledged as Prince of Wales, but he’s now known as Llywelyn the Last. He didn’t know he was called out at the time, obviously, but he’s known as Llywelyn the Last because he was the last recognise Prince of Wales.

“But then after that, it wasOwain Glyndwr who proclaimed himself and then led a rebellion that went on for 15 years, but was eventually crushed. And, and that was the last time Wales had the native Prince of Wales.

“And since then, in the tradition that Edward I began by naming his own son, Prince Edward, Prince of Wales, in a, in a sort of symbolic act of rebuke and punishment, and humiliation, some would say, of Wales, and with the intent to stop a Welsh nation developing and emerging, which was the dream of Owain Glyndwr.

“And so this day, September the 16th is important to many people in Wales. Because of that, because it marks the moment where Owain Glyndwr tclaimed that title.

“So those two things are obviously connected because of course, to choose September the 16th to come to Wales, having created his son William as the new Prince of Wales or Tywysog Cymru.

“To choose this day, September the 16th to come here as his first visit, seems full of meaning. On the one hand, if it’s chosen, deliberately, then I’m sure many people will feel that that is quite an insult to those that celebrate Owain Glyndwr who tried to free this nation from the oppression of the English monarch at the time.

“And having been told that the new Prince of Wales would take on those titles with a great sense of humility, and respect, and  celebrate the history, the proud history and traditions, of Wales, and it’s quite surprising to see.

“If it was done on purpose it seems insensitive to the point of insult. And if it wasn’t done on purpose – if it was done accidentally without realising what that day was – then one does wonder what being Prince of Wales was so long actually meant if you were not aware of what that day means.

“So an important day in many ways, I think. With King Charles in Cardiff meeting the Welsh Government. I’m not entirely sure that they will be talking about that.

“I just wanted to add my voice to many others marking the irony of the celebration for Owain Glyndwr’s day being cancelled today because of the visit of an English monarch.

“It is, to put it mildly, ironic. And I hope it’s not a declaration of intent. Because that would be very concerning.

“And so happy Owain Glyndwr Day to you, King Charles, the to you Prince William, Tywysog Cymru.

“And to all those in Wales who feel a deep meaning to this day. And to borrow the words of another Welshman, Dylan Thomas from under Milk Wood: ‘Where you get that thing from, Willy? Got it from my father, silly. Give it back then, love.’”


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David Zenati-Parsons
David Zenati-Parsons
6 days ago

Mr Sheen is a teller of truth, the right wing trolls are not #BrexitLies #ToryCorruption etc

Frank
Frank
6 days ago

We should appoint our own princes in Wales although, personally, don’t agree with such nonsense. It’s an absolute disgrace that we allow outsiders to claim the title. It’s a bloody cheek and very disrespectful.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 days ago

“Muscular unionism” as displayed by a bunch of hyper-sensitive wimps who run crying to Nanny at the slightest suggestion that they might need to think.
Oh dear, never mind, how sad.

Ceramike
Ceramike
6 days ago

A predictable reaction from that section of the press. God forbid that anyone from Wales should have a view on the future of where they live.
It is unfortunate that the blinkered myopic views of the Telegraph and Daily Mail are given any credence, but such is the state of the nation.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
4 days ago
Reply to  Ceramike

Don’t forget the Daily Excess in that commentary on centre right to far right English Press.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
6 days ago

I feel it was nought but a calculated sign of contempt on part of the Charlie and Westminster. How could it be anything else? It was to add insult to injury on those who love Cyrmru. He was Prince of Wales and now he’s king of England, so he toddles down here with his crew of lackeys and hangers-on and the whole barrel of rotting fish that is “The Firm” (interesting they seem to have appropriated the name the Kray twins gave their collection of vile criminal b******s isn’t it? Rather telling, what?) on Glyndwr day to really rub it… Read more »

Last edited 6 days ago by Cathy Jones
George Atkinson
George Atkinson
6 days ago

Far right English press you mean?

Llefain
Llefain
6 days ago

So, the mandatory period of respecting Elizabeth is over.
The defence and justification of Charles begins. 🙄

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

No surprises from the right wing press, comments expected. What we in Cymru need to do is make them eat their words by becoming independent and making our country more prosperous and fairer than theirs. That won’t be hard looking at the direction the UK is going under oppressive right wing ideology.

Last edited 6 days ago by Steve Duggan
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

The right-wing press would be critical. These morons keep referring to free speech and cancel culture but only on subjects they agree with. Michael Sheen had every right to criticise the timing of his visit seeing it was Owain Glyndwr Day. Imagine if Charles attended a fox hunt on Holocaust Memorial Day He wouldn’t obviously. It’s only Wales after all. Clarence House knew the significance of the day when Charles had his proclamation & parade but still made the visit. They & he could have altered the arrangement seeing he was paraded around all four nations. There’s no excuse. It… Read more »

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
6 days ago

The failure of the British right-wing press to view any point of view other than their own, signals why there is a growing schism within this union.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
6 days ago

The only Welsh appearance from yesterday was Drakeford and 2 corgies. Canada had more representation.
Daily Mail/ Free Speech…..
classic oxymoron

David Smith
David Smith
6 days ago

The virulent, gammony right are the biggest snowflakes on the planet.

R W
R W
6 days ago

Well, what do you expect from the right-wing fascist “British press”!!?? Just ignore them, Michael!! On the other hand, they are a useful recruiter for the independence movement, so that’s something to feel positive about!!

Wynn
Wynn
5 days ago

I’m a Scot and I found the visit of my RULER the King on Owain Glyndwr Day to be insulting to my brothers and sisters in Wales. The most understanding part of me can see that it may have been at best an ill-judged decision, but if that is the sort of judgement my RULER has then we have a lot of problems ahead. I think Mr. Sheen is playing a blinder for you down there, I wish we had someone like that up here just now where things have become moribund. Hold on to the passion you have in… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 days ago
Reply to  Wynn

You too great friend and thank you for your support.

David Charles pearn
David Charles pearn
1 day ago
Reply to  Wynn

Thanks wyn

Windy
Windy
4 days ago

The right wing press only believe in freedom of speech as long as it is them spouting the usual propaganda for the Tory machine

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
4 days ago

Michael Sheen exercised the free speech, which the right wing English press keeps banging on about, but only when it suits them. They have no argument against what he said because there is none. So, they tried creating a storm in a tea cup, but all they got was a light breeze. Piping hot Welsh Tea here 😉😁😄😂😂

Sam Evans
Sam Evans
4 days ago

I’m Welsh, lived a stones throw away from Mr Sheen’s home all my life and educated by the WJEC – never heard of “Owain Glyndwr Day”! Checked my calendar and it’s not there 🤷🏻‍♀️

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