The “Prince of Wales” title (Welsh: Tywysog Cymru) is a title used by the native Welsh princes from the 12th century. The last native Prince of Wales was Llywelyn the Last, killed by English soldiers in 1282 and his head was then paraded through the streets of London and placed on a Tower of London spike. Llywelyn’s brother Dafydd was the first person of note to be hung, drawn and quartered and his head was placed next to Llywelyn’s. Both their daughters were taken as infants and children and imprisoned.
This is news to me, you might say. But this happened centuries ago, you might add. The truth is, that since the days of Llywelyn the Last and the “rebel” Prince of Wales, Owain Glyndwr, the title has been held exclusively by Englishmen as a symbol of dominance over Wales. To this day, the English “Princes of Wales” have no genuine connection to our country.
The title remains an insult to Wales and is a symbol of historical oppression. The title implies that Wales is still a principality undermining Wales’ status as a nation and a country. In addition, the title has absolutely no constitutional role for Wales, which is now a devolved country with a national Parliament. Neither the Welsh parliament nor the people of Wales were notified, let alone consulted about this controversial decision.
Whatever your political views, this is an important step for us all in Wales.
As Welsh actor, Michael Sheen put it;
“Make a break there. Put some things that have been the 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.”
“Why not change that as we come to this moment where things will inevitably change.”