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Title of the Prince of Wales should be ditched when Charles becomes king, says Michael Sheen

30 Dec 2020 3 minute read
Prince Charles (left) and Michael Sheen in Owen Jones’ YouTube video (right).

The title of the Prince of Wales should be ditched when Charles becomes King, according to Michael Sheen.

The actor said the title was created as a “humiliation” to Wales in an interview on the YouTube channel of Guardian columnist Owen Jones.

It is tradition for the title to then go to the eldest son of the reigning British monarch, which would mean that it would be passed on to William.

Michal Sheen said: “We’re getting closer to a time where there is going to be a changing of the guard in the Royal Family. The Queen, who I’ve done a film about here, and I think she’s a remarkable person who has done exemplary service to the country, and sadly she won’t be with us for much longer.

“When that change and the traditional requirements would mean the Prince of Wales would become a new person, and a new Englishman, it would be I think a really meaningful and powerful gesture for that title to no longer be held in the same way as it has before. That would be an incredibly meaningful thing I think to happen.

“Make a break there. Put some things that have been wrongs of the past right. There’s an opportunity to do that at that point.

“Don’t necessarily just because of habit and without thinking just carry on that tradition that was started as a humiliation to our country. That’s what it was. It was a humiliation.

“Why not change that when we come to this moment where inevitably things will change anyway.”



The Prince of Wales title was created after one of the last native princes, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd was killed at the Battle of Orewin Bridge in 1282 during the conquest of Wales by the King of England, Edward I.

He invested his son Edward as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301. It has been customary for the English or British monarch to hand the title to the heir apparent ever since.

Michael Sheen also referred in the interview to the arguments around the controversial renaming of the Severn bridge.

“The arguments around the naming of the bridge across the Severn from Wales into England, that is called the Prince of Wales bridge. These things have power, the idea of the Prince of Wales, and that being an Englishman.

“The more you understand the history of it, how, why Edward made his son the Prince of Wales, because it was part of keeping down the Welsh.

“These are things that happened so long ago, I get, but these things are resonant.”

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