William and Kate visit Wales for first time since being handed Prince and Princess of Wales title
The Prince and Princess of Wales are to visit the nation for the first time since being handed the title earlier this month.
King Charles confirmed William as the next Prince of Wales in his first speech as King, the day after his mother’s death on 9 September.
The appointment has not been without controversy, with over 35,000 signing a petition calling for the title to be scrapped “out of respect for Wales”.
Ahead of Tuesday’s visit, sources close to the couple have confirmed there are still no plans for an investiture ceremony for the new Prince of Wales.
When an investiture does take place, it is unlikely to reflect the scale of the ceremony held for the then Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle in 1969, with William and Kate thought to want a more low-key event.
A spokesperson for the prince and princess said: “Right now they are focused on deepening the trust and respect they have with the people of Wales over time.”
William and Kate have spoken of wanting to use their position to advocate for the people of Wales and showcase the country to the world.
In a statement, they said they would “do their part to support the aspirations of the Welsh people and to shine a spotlight on both the challenges and opportunities in front of them”.
Adding that they would serve as Prince and Princess of Wales “with humility and great respect”.
The announcement of the titles being granted caught many observers by surprise and First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed that he was not told there would be a new Prince of Wales before the announcement.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price responded to the announcement by saying any decision over the investiture of the new Prince of Wales should be made in 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.
The move to make the royal couple the next Prince and Princess of Wales also sparked the creation of a petition calling for the British monarchy to end the use of the title which has so far gathered over 35,000 signatures.
During their whistle-stop tour, William and Kate will journey the length of Wales, first visiting Holyhead in Anglesey, North Wales, and then travelling to Swansea in South West Wales.
The royal couple had promised to visit at the earliest opportunity following the death of the Queen, and return hoping to begin “deepening the trust and respect” they have with the people of Wales.
While in Holyhead, they will visit the local RNLI Lifeboat Station where they will meet the crew, volunteers and some of those who have previously been rescued by the team.
It is one of the oldest lifeboat stations on the Welsh coast and across the years members have received a total of 70 awards for gallantry.
They will then take a walk to the Holyhead Marine and Cafe Bar where they will meet people from local small businesses and organisations, including the coastguard and sea cadets.
Holyhead is only a half-hour drive from the four-bedroom farmhouse the prince and princess rented as newlyweds on the Isle of Anglesey, or Ynys Mon, between 2010 and 2013 when William was an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.
Having made their first home together in Wales is part of why they say they hold such a “deep affection” for the country.
It is also where they raised their eldest child, Prince George, for the first few months of his life.
William’s first royal engagement, aged eight, was to the Welsh capital of Cardiff with his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
After leaving Holyhead, they will travel to St Thomas Church in Swansea which has transformed over the last two years into a community hub.
The church now provides vital services to hundreds of people in the city such as a not-for-profit cafe and facilities for the homeless including food, showers and toilets.
William and Kate will get a chance to meet volunteers who work in the church’s food bank and the Swansea Baby Basics initiative, which distributes essential items such as toiletries and clothing to vulnerable mothers.
Kate has previously worked with baby banks and in 2020 brought together 19 British brands and retailers to donate over 10,000 new items to more than 40 such banks nationwide.
Both the princess and William will spend some time meeting members of the public gathered outside the church.
The last official visit the pair made to Wales was as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Cardiff Castle in June, where rehearsals for the Platinum Jubilee concert were taking place.
It was Prince George and his sister Princess Charlotte’s first official outing in the country and the family were greeted by hundreds of well-wishers.
The siblings will not be joining their parents on Tuesday’s visit as both will be in school.
William and Kate will now be making more regular visits to Wales as part of their roles as prince and princess, and are expected back in the country before Christmas.
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