Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales
Tywysog Cymru
Prince of Wales's feathers Badge.svg
William Sumbarines Crop.png
Incumbent
William

since 9 September 2022
StyleHis Royal Highness
Member ofBritish royal family
AppointerMonarch of the United Kingdom (previously of England)
Term lengthLife tenure or until accession as sovereign
Formation
  • 1136 (Welsh title)
  • 1301 (British title)
First holder
  • Gruffydd ap Cynan (Welsh title)
  • Edward of Caernarfon (British title)
Websitewww.princeofwales.gov.uk

Prince of Wales (Welsh: Tywysog Cymru, pronounced [təu̯ˈəsoɡ ˈkəmrɨ]; Latin: Princeps Cambriae/Walliae) is a title traditionally given to the heir apparent to the English and later British throne. Before Edward I's conquest in the 13th century, it was used by the rulers of independent Wales.

The first native Welsh prince was Gruffudd ap Cynan of Gwynedd, in 1137, although his son Owain Gwynedd (Owain ap Gruffudd) is often cited as having established the title. Llywelyn the Great is typically regarded as the strongest leader, holding power over the vast majority of Wales for 45 years. One of the last independent princes was Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (Llywelyn the Last), who was killed at the Battle of Orewin Bridge in 1282. His brother, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, was executed the following year. After these two deaths, Edward I of England invested his son Edward of Caernarfon as the first English Prince of Wales in 1301. The title was later claimed by the heir of Gwynedd, Owain Glyndŵr (Owain ap Gruffydd), from 1400 until 1415 (date of his assumed death) who led Welsh forces against the English. Since then, it has only been held by the heir apparent of the English and subsequently British monarch.

On 8 September 2022 upon the death of Elizabeth II, the title-holder, Prince Charles, became king.[1] The following day, King Charles III bestowed the title upon his elder son, Prince William, Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.[2][3]

Native princes of Wales

Before prince of Wales

While many different Welsh rulers claimed the title of 'King of Wales' and some ruled a majority of the country, the modern-day territory was only fully united between 1055 and 1063, under the direct rule of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn,[4][5] who was referred to as 'King of Wales' or Rex Walensium by John of Worcester.[6]

The native use of the title 'Prince of Wales' appeared more frequently by the eleventh century as a modernised form of the old 'King of the Britons', a title used to describe the leader of the Celtic Britons, ancestors of the Welsh.[7] The princes of the medieval period hailed largely from west Wales, mainly Gwynedd. They had significant power which allowed them to claim authority beyond the borders of their kingdoms.[8]

End of native princes of Wales

(c) The monument to Llywelyn the Last at Cilmery in snow by Jeremy Bolwell, CC BY-SA 2.0
Monument to Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in Cilmeri where he was killed in 1282

Following the uniting of Wales under the rule of the Llywelyn princes, Edward I of England led 15,000 men to capture Wales. Resistance was led by Llywelyn ap Gruffydd who was killed by English soldiers in an ambush trick at the Battle of Orewin Bridge.[9][10][11] Llywelyn's brother, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, took over leadership of Welsh fighters, but was captured and executed in 1283.[12]

After the deaths of Llywelyn and Dafydd, King Edward introduced the royal ordinance of the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. The statute was a constitutional change causing Wales to lose its de facto independence and formed the Principality of Wales within the Realm of England.[13][14][15][16] Almost two decades later, Edward I appointed his son and heir, Edward of Caernarfon, as Prince of Wales.

Owain Glyndŵr

(c) All or nothing - Owain Glyndwr statue, Corwen by Jeremy Bolwell, CC BY-SA 2.0
Statue of Owain Glyndŵr in Corwen
Y Ddraig Aur ('The Golden Dragon'), a flag carried by Owain Glyndŵr

With the assassination of Owain Lawgoch, the senior line of the House of Aberffraw became extinct.[17] As a result, the claim of the title 'Prince of Wales' fell to the other royal dynasties of Wales, namely Deheubarth and Powys. The leading heir in this respect was Owain Glyndŵr who was descended from both dynasties.[18][19]

Glyndŵr was announced as Prince of Wales in Glyndyfrdwy on 16 September 1400, and with his armies, he proceeded to attack English towns in north-east Wales. Henry IV led several attempted invasions but with limited success, while Owain solidified his control of the nation.

However, in 1407, the much larger and better equipped English forces began to overwhelm the Welsh and by 1409 they had reconquered most of the region. Glyndŵr fought on until he was cornered and under siege at Harlech Castle. He managed to escape and retreated to the Welsh wilderness with a band of loyal supporters, where he refused to surrender and continued the war with guerilla tactics. The last documented sighting of Owain Glyndŵr was in 1412 and his death was recorded by a former follower in the year 1415.[20]

Arms

Arms used by the Gwynedd Princes of Wales

Llywelyn ap Gruffydd

Three native princes of Wales used the House of Gwynedd arms. The House of Gwynedd is divided between the earlier House of Cunedda, which lasted from c. 420–825, and the later House of Aberffraw, beginning in 844. The senior line of the House of Aberffraw, descended from Llywelyn the Great in patrilineal succession, became extinct on the death of Owain Lawgoch in 1378.[21]

Owain Glyndŵr

Arms used by Owain Lawgoch and Owain Glyndŵr

Owain Glyndŵr adapted the House of Gwynedd arms by making the lions rampant, making clear his descent from the princes of Gwynedd and Llywelyn the Last, and his defence of Wales. It is also suggested that this design was influenced by the arms of Powys Fadog and the coat of Deheubarth. Glyndŵr's father was a hereditary prince of Powys Fadog and his mother was noblewoman of Deheubarth.[22]

The Glyndŵr arms were also used as a banner, carried into battle against the English. This banner is a symbol of Welsh defiance, resilience and protest,[22] and is associated with Welsh nationhood.[23][24]

As title of the English and British heir apparent

According to conventional wisdom, since 1301 the prince of Wales has usually been the eldest living son (only if he is also the heir apparent) of the King or Queen Regnant of England (subsequently of Great Britain, 1707, and of the United Kingdom, 1801).

The title is neither automatic or heritable; it merges with the Crown when its holder eventually accedes to the throne, or reverts to the Crown if its holder predeceases the current monarch, leaving the sovereign free to grant it to the new heir apparent (such as the late prince's son or brother).[25]

William Camden's Britannia describes the beginning of the English prince of Wales as heir apparent after Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was "slain":[26]

As concerning the Princes of Wales of British bloud in ancient times, you may reade in the Historie of Wales published in print. For my part I thinke it requisite and pertinent to my intended purpose to set downe summarily those of latter daies, descended from the roiall line of England. King Edward the First, unto whom his father King Henrie the Third had granted the Principalitie of Wales, when hee had obtained the Crowne and Lhewellin Ap Gryffith, the last Prince of the British race, was slain, and therby the sinewes as it were of the principalitie were cut, in the twelft yeere of his reigne united the same unto the Kingdome of England. And the whole province sware fealty and alleageance unto Edward of Caernarvon his sonne, whom hee made Prince of Wales. But King Edward the Second conferred not upon his sonne Edward the title of Prince of Wales, but onely the name of Earle of Chester and of Flint, so farre as ever I could learne out of the Records, and by that title summoned him to Parliament, being then nine yeres old. King Edward the Third first created his eldest sonne Edward surnamed the Blacke Prince, the Mirour of Chivalrie (being then Duke of Cornwall and Earle of Chester), Prince of Wales by solemne investure, with a cap of estate and Coronet set on his head, a gold ring put upon his finger, and a silver vierge delivered into his hand, with the assent of Parliament.[27]

— William Camden, Britannia (1607)

In 2011, along with the other Commonwealth realms, the United Kingdom committed to the Perth Agreement, which proposed changes to the laws governing succession, including altering the male-preference primogeniture to absolute primogeniture.[28] The Succession to the Crown Act 2013 was introduced to the British parliament on 12 December 2012, published the next day, and received royal assent on 25 April 2013.[29] It was brought into force on 26 March 2015,[30] at the same time as the other realms implemented the Perth Agreement in their own laws.[31]

Titles and roles

After the conquest, "Prince of Wales" has been a substantive title traditionally (but not necessarily) granted by the English or British monarch to the son or grandson who is the heir apparent to the throne.

Since 1301, the title "Earl of Chester" has generally been granted to each heir apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of 'prince of Wales'. Both titles are bestowed to each individual by the sovereign and are not automatically acquired.[32]

The prince of Wales usually has other titles and honours, if the eldest son of the monarch; typically this means being duke of Cornwall, which, unlike being prince of Wales, inherently includes lands and constitutional and operational responsibilities. The duchy of Cornwall was created in 1337 by Edward III for his son and heir, Edward of Woodstock (also known as 'The Black Prince'). A charter was also created which ruled that the eldest son of the king would be the duke of Cornwall.[33]

No formal public role or responsibility has been legislated by Parliament or otherwise delegated to the prince of Wales by law or custom. In that role, Charles often assisted Elizabeth II in the performance of her duties. He represented her when welcoming dignitaries to London and during state visits. He also represented the Queen and the United Kingdom overseas at state and ceremonial occasions such as funerals.[34] The prince of Wales has also been granted the authority to issue royal warrants.[35]

British (formerly English) insignia

As heir apparent to the sovereign, the prince of Wales bears the royal arms differenced by a white label of three points. To represent Wales he bears the coat of arms of the Principality of Wales, crowned with the heir apparent's crown, on an inescutcheon-en-surtout. This was first used by the future Edward VIII in 1910, and followed by the most recent prince of Wales, now King Charles III.[36]

The heraldic badge of the three feathers is the badge of the duke of Cornwall, or heir apparent to the British throne.[37] The ostrich feathers heraldic motif is generally traced back to Edward of Woodstock ('The Black Prince"). He bore (as an alternative to his differenced royal arms) a shield of Sable, three ostrich feathers argent, described as his "shield for peace", probably meaning the shield he used for jousting. These arms appear several times on his chest tomb in Canterbury Cathedral, alternating with his paternal royal arms (the royal arms of King Edward III differenced by a label of three points argent).[38] The Black Prince also used heraldic badges of one or more ostrich feathers in various other contexts.[39]

Opposition to the title

Welsh people opposing to the investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle

While Prince Charles's 1969 investiture was "largely welcomed" in Wales,[40] and it was watched by 19 million in the UK and another 500 million around the world, protests described as an anti-investiture movement, also took place in the days leading up to the ceremony.[41][42] Multiple Welsh organisations and individuals were against the event, including Dafydd Iwan,[43] Edward Millward,[44] Cofia 1282 ('Remember 1282'),[45] and the Welsh Language Society.[46] On the day of the investiture, a few protesters were arrested.[47]

Since then, further prominent organisations and figures in Wales have called for an end to the title including Plaid Cymru (which has since changed its stance),[48][49] Republic,[50] Michael Sheen,[51] and Dafydd Elis-Thomas.[52] Following Charles III's accession to the throne in September 2022, a petition was launched calling for the abolition of the title "Prince of Wales", which had received over 35,000 signatures.[53] Mark Drakeford,[54] Adam Price,[55] Jane Dodds,[56] and YesCymru[57] have all acknowledged a potential for a debate or have suggested potential for Welsh decision. On the 6th October, Gwynedd Council, the local authority where Charles was invested, voted to declare opposition to the title of "Prince of Wales" and against holding another investiture in Wales.[58]

Opinion polls

A BBC Wales poll in 1999 found that 73% of Welsh speakers wanted the position of Prince of Wales to continue.[59]

A BBC poll in 2009, marking the 40th anniversary of the investiture, indicated that 38% of the Welsh population was in favour of a similar public ceremony for Prince William after Prince Charles became king.[60]

An ITV poll in 2018 found 57% of Welsh people in support of the title passing on when the then prince became king, with 27% opposed. Support for a similar investiture was lower, with 31% supporting, 27% opposed and 18% wanting a different kind of investiture.[61]

List of princes of Wales (English or British heirs apparent)

PersonNameHeir ofBirthBecame heir apparentCreated Prince of WalesCeased to be Prince of WalesDeath
Edward I and II.jpgEdward of CaernarfonEdward I25 April 128419 August 12847 February 1301[32]7 July 1307
acceded to throne as Edward II
21 September 1327
Plantagenet, Edward, The Black Prince, Iconic Image.JPGEdward of WoodstockEdward III15 June 133012 May 1343[32]8 June 1376
deceased
RichardIIWestminsterHead.JPGRichard of Bordeaux6 January 13678 June 137620 November 1376[32]22 June 1377
acceded to throne as Richard II
14 February 1400
Henry5.JPGHenry of MonmouthHenry IV16 September 138630 September 139915 October 1399[32]21 March 1413
acceded to throne as Henry V
31 August 1422
Edward.4.plantagenet.jpgEdward of WestminsterHenry VI13 October 145315 March 1454[32]11 April 1471
father deposed
4 May 1471
deceased
King-edward-v.jpgEdward of YorkEdward IV4 November 147011 April 147126 June 1471[32]9 April 1483
acceded to throne as Edward V
1483
Rous Roll - Edward, Prince of Wales.jpgEdward of MiddlehamRichard III147326 June 148324 August 1483[32]31 March or
9 April 1484
deceased
Arthur Prince of Wales c 1500.jpgArthur TudorHenry VII20 September 148629 November 1489[32]2 April 1502
deceased
HenryVIII 1509.jpgHenry Tudor28 June 14912 April 150218 February 1504[32]21 April 1509
acceded to throne as Henry VIII
28 January 1547
Edouard VI Tudor.jpgEdward TudorHenry VIII12 October 1537c. 18 October 1537[62][63]28 January 1547
acceded to throne as Edward VI
6 July 1553
Henry Prince of Wales after Isaac Oliver.jpgHenry Frederick StuartJames I19 February 159424 March 16034 June 1610[32]6 November 1612
deceased
Charles I (Prince of Wales).jpgCharles Stuart19 November 16006 November 16124 November 1616[32]27 March 1625
acceded to throne as Charles I
30 January 1649
King Charles II by Adriaen Hanneman.jpgCharles StuartCharles I29 May 1630c. 1638–1641[32]30 January 1649
title abolished;
later (1660) acceded to throne as Charles II
6 February 1685
James Francis Edward StuartJames II10 June 1688c. 4 July 1688[32]11 December 1688[64]
father deposed
1 January 1766
Kneller - George II when Prince of Wales.pngGeorge AugustusGeorge I10 November 16831 August 171427 September 1714[32][65]11 June 1727
acceded to throne as George II
25 October 1760
Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales by Philip Mercier.jpgFrederick LouisGeorge II1 February 170711 June 17277 January 1728[32][66]31 March 1751
deceased
George, Prince of Wales, later George III, 1754 by Liotard.jpgGeorge William Frederick4 June 173831 March 175120 April 1751[32][67]25 October 1760
acceded to throne as George III
29 January 1820
George IV bust1.jpgGeorge Augustus FrederickGeorge III12 August 176217 August 1762[32][68]29 January 1820
acceded to throne as George IV
26 June 1830
Prince of Wales00.jpgAlbert EdwardVictoria9 November 18418 December 1841[32][69]22 January 1901
acceded to throne as Edward VII
6 May 1910
George V of the United Kingdom01.jpgGeorge Frederick Ernest AlbertEdward VII3 June 186522 January 19019 November 1901[70]6 May 1910
acceded to throne as George V
20 January 1936
HRH The Prince of Wales No 4 (HS85-10-36416).jpgEdward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick DavidGeorge V23 June 18946 May 191023 June 1910[32][71]20 January 1936
acceded to throne as Edward VIII;
later (1937) Duke of Windsor
28 May 1972
HRH Prince Charles 43 Allan Warren.jpgCharles Philip Arthur GeorgeElizabeth II14 November 19486 February 195226 July 1958[72]8 September 2022
acceded to throne as Charles III
living
William Sumbarines Crop.pngWilliam Arthur Philip LouisCharles III21 June 19828 September 20229 September 2022[3]Incumbentliving

Queen Elizabeth II's son Charles, was Prince of Wales for 64 years and 44 days between 1958 and 2022, longer than any predecessor. He was also heir apparent for longer than any other in British history.[73]

Family tree

See also

References

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  64. ^ Continued claiming title until 1701
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  67. ^ "No. 9050". The London Gazette. 16 April 1751. p. 1.
  68. ^ "No. 10235". The London Gazette. 14 August 1762. p. 2.
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Sources

External links

Media files used on this page

Prince of Wales's feathers Badge.svg
Author/Creator: Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Ostrich feather Badge of the Prince of Wales
Cofia 1282, a protest against the investiture (1537984)4.jpg
Author/Creator: Geoff Charles , Licence: CC0

Photographs by Welsh photo journalist Geoff Charles

'Cofia 1282', a protest against the investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle in North Wales.
Prince of Wales00.jpg
The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII)(1841-1910)
RichardIIWestminsterHead.JPG
King Richard II of England (1367 - 1400). Head of the famous portrait shown in Westminster Abbey, London, where Richard is buried. It is the work of an unknown master, and the date is usually given as about 1390. This painting is the earliest known portrait of an English monarch, according to the Abbey's website.
Arms of Llywelyn.svg
Author/Creator: Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
Traditional arms of the House of Aberffraw, rulers of the Kingdom of Gwynedd, attributed to Llywelyn the Great (d. 1240). Recorded in the Chronica Majora (c. 1250).
HRH The Prince of Wales No 4 (HS85-10-36416).jpg
Original caption: "
H.R.H. The Prince of Wales. No. 4.
"
King-edward-v.jpg
Edward V of England, from [1]
Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales by Philip Mercier.jpg

See source website for additional information.

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG.
The monument to Llywelyn the Last at Cilmery in snow - geograph.org.uk - 2179424.jpg
(c) The monument to Llywelyn the Last at Cilmery in snow by Jeremy Bolwell, CC BY-SA 2.0
The monument to Llywelyn the Last at Cilmery in snow Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
George V of the United Kingdom01.jpg
George V of the United Kingdom (1865-1936)
George IV bust1.jpg

George IV of the United Kingdom as the Prince Regent, circa 1814. He served as king of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1820 to 1830. The Regency, George's nine-year tenure as Prince Regent, which commenced in 1811 and ended with George III's death in 1820, was marked by victory in the Napoleonic Wars in Europe.
----
George IV of the United Kingdom (1762-1830), Regent 1811-20; reigned 1820-30. Oil on canvas, 36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm), purchased, 1861, on display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery.

Artist: (quoted from the National Portrait Gallery)

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 425 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.

In 1814, Lord Stewart, who had been appointed ambassador in Vienna and was a previous client of Thomas Lawrence, wanted to commission a portrait by him of the Prince Regent (later King George IV). He therefore arranged that Lawrence should be presented to the Prince Regent at a levée. Soon after, the Prince visited Lawrence at his studio in Russell Square. Lawrence wrote to his brother that To crown this honour, [he] engag'd to sit to me at one today and after a successful sitting of two hours, has just left me and comes again tomorrow and the next day. The result was a drawing in the Royal Collection, this dashing oil sketch of his head in profile like a Classical god and a large portrait of him in Field Marshall's uniform.

HRH Prince Charles 43 Allan Warren.jpg
Author/Creator: Allan warren, Licence: CC BY-SA 3.0
HRH The Prince of Wales taken at Buckingham Palace, London
Edouard VI Tudor.jpg
Edward VI of England
HenryVIII 1509.jpg
Portrait of Henry VIII of England (1491-1547), reigned 1509-1547.
Rous Roll - Edward, Prince of Wales.jpg
Edward, Prince of Wales, son of King Richard III and his Queen consort, Anne Neville. Cropped portion of, Richard III and family in the contemporary Rous Roll in the Heralds' College.
All or nothing - Owain Glyndwr statue, Corwen - geograph.org.uk - 1862001.jpg
(c) All or nothing - Owain Glyndwr statue, Corwen by Jeremy Bolwell, CC BY-SA 2.0
All or nothing - Owain Glyndwr statue, Corwen Edit this at Structured Data on Commons
Edward I and II.jpg
Edward I creating his son, the later Edward II, prince of Wales, 1301. Text reads "Eduuardus factus est princeps Wallie" (Edward is made prince of Wales).
Arms of Owain Glyndŵr.svg
Author/Creator: Sodacan, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Arms of Owain Glyndŵr
Y Draig Aur Owain Glyndŵr.jpg
Author/Creator: Hogyncymru, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
c.1400 – c.1416 Y Ddraig Aur (The Golden Dragon), royal standard of Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales, famously raised over Caernarfon during the Battle of Tuthill in 1401 against the English.
King Charles II by Adriaen Hanneman.jpg

King Charles II, by Adriaen Hanneman (died 1671). See source website for additional information.

This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery, London website using a special tool. All images in this batch have been confirmed as author died before 1939 according to the official death date listed by the NPG.
George, Prince of Wales, later George III, 1754 by Liotard.jpg
The pigment Liotard used for the Prince's coat, which was bright red, has faded due to light exposure for over 260 years. The other colors used remain vibrant.
William Sumbarines Crop.png
Author/Creator: Royal Navy, Licence: OGL 3
Prince William visiting a Royal Navy facility in June 2021.
Henry Prince of Wales after Isaac Oliver.jpg
Henry, Prince of Wales (1594-1612)
Arthur Prince of Wales c 1500.jpg
Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486-1502), wearing a collar composed of red and white Tudor roses and hat with a hat badge bearing the figure of St John the Baptist and two rosette-shaped cap hooks.
Kneller - George II when Prince of Wales.png
George II when Prince of Wales