King Charles III: What happens during the royal visit to Cardiff?

King Charles III: What happens during the royal visit to Cardiff?

By David Deans
BBC Wales political reporter

Charles III in the Scottish Parliamentimage source, Reuters

King Charles III will visit Wales for the first time as monarch on Friday.

King Charles III will visit Wales for the first time as monarch on Friday.

He will attend a service at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff before heading to the Senedd to accept a condolence proposal.

He will later hold an audience with Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford at Cardiff Castle.

Camilla, Queen Consort, will accompany the King.

Prime Minister Liz Truss is also expected at the service, which marks her first visit to Wales since winning the Conservative Party leadership contest.

There are warnings of large crowds waiting to greet the monarch and a number of roads will be closed.

image source, Getty Images

The Queen attended six official openings of the Welsh Parliament, including an event last year

What is the significance of the visit?

Most of the events will be about commemorating the Queen’s life and offering condolences to Charles.

Friday will be the first time people in Wales can see the new king – allowing them to witness the monarchy’s transition for themselves.

It is also the last of three visits by Charles to the three national capitals outside England.

In his first week as monarch, the visits show the importance the King places on the nations of Great Britain.

There is no official legal function or necessary procedure for the events.

But the fact that Charles is coming to Cardiff in his first week as monarch will be seen as royal recognition of the place the Welsh Parliament and Welsh Government have in the UK constitution.

In the 1990s, there was discussion among British ministers at the time about whether the Queen should visit the National Assembly for Wales at all – as previously described.

Finally, the Queen attended several official opening ceremonies, and Friday’s visit shows that the new monarchy takes Wales’ institutions seriously.

For the first minister, it is also a chance to have a direct conversation with the new king – the content of which we are unlikely to hear.

image source, Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament

What’s happening in Llandaff?

The King will attend events at three locations across Cardiff, with the first focused in the village of Llandaff in the north of the capital.

A service of prayer and reflection will be led by Acting Dean Mike Komor at Llandaff Cathedral. Attendance is by invitation only.

Archbishop of Wales Andy John will give a speech before a reading by Drakeford.

Prayers will be led by the Bishop of Llandaff, June Osborne and other interfaith leaders.

A Welsh Prayer, composed by Prof Paul Mealor with words by Dr Grahame Davies, will be performed by a choir accompanied by harpists, Alis Huws and Catrin Finch.

Prof Mealor is a friend of the King and his work has been part of events to mark the Queen’s death.

image source, Reuters

Charles’ last visit to Wales took place in July when he was Prince of Wales

What happens in the Senedd?

After the service, the King will proceed to the Senedd in Cardiff Bay where he will be met by Drakeford and the Speaker of the Welsh Parliament, Elin Jones, who is known as Llywydd.

In the debating chamber, called Siambr, Drakeford will read the condolence motion passed by the Senedd at a special recall last Sunday.

The King will respond to the First Minister before the Llywydd ends the session, and the King and Queen Consort hope to greet the public before heading to Cardiff Castle.

People can pay their respects outside the Senedd building, where the proceedings will be shown on large screens.

Pupils from Butetown’s Ysgol Gymraeg Hamadryad will present the Queen Consort with a posy as they prepare to leave for their next engagement.

Shahzad Khan, a member of the Senedd security team, will carry out his duties as mace bearer as he did at the official opening attended by the Queen last year.

The ceremonial Mace is placed in the Siambr to mark when the Senedd is in session. It is a gift to the Senedd from the Parliament of New South Wales in Australia.

Cerys Rees and Nia Evans, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama harpists, will perform and a group of 12 Welsh Youth MPs will meet the King and Queen Consort.


Archbishop of Wales Andy John will give a speech at the service in Llandaff Cathedral

What is the condolence proposal?

A condolence motion is the Senedd’s public expression of sympathy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The motion states that the Senedd “expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Her Majesty the Queen and offers its sincere condolences to His Majesty the King and other members of the Royal Family.

It adds: “We recognize Her Majesty’s enduring commitment to public service and duty, including her support of many Welsh charities and organisations, and her lifelong association with Wales and its people.”


Several roads may be closed if large crowds arrive in Cardiff

What will happen at Cardiff Castle?

The King will travel to Cardiff Castle, where he will hold a private audience with the First Minister and Llywydd at Castle House.

The cortege will travel along St Mary Street to the Castle on its way from the Senedd.

Members of the public are invited to line the route to welcome the royal party as it approaches the castle in the afternoon, and wave goodbye as it departs.

They will also be welcomed onto the property on a first-come, first-served basis, with very long queues expected.

The visit is expected to end with the King greeting the public.

image source, Getty Images

The memorial service will take place in Llandaff Cathedral

Is the Prince of Wales coming?

There has been no indication that the new Prince of Wales will visit.

Prince William received the title in King Charles’ speech last Friday. He said earlier this week that he hoped to visit soon.

When was Charles’ last visit to Wales?

It was 10 weeks since his annual visit was an opportunity for the then prince to catch up with people and organizations who had his support.

In July he opened the new BBC Cymru Wales headquarters in Cardiff city center and was greeted by more than 1,000 people as he and the Queen Consort, then the Duchess of Cornwall, visited shops in Treorchy High Street.

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