King Charles joins crowds in Cardiff after longest serving Prince of Wales | UK News

King Charles and the Queen Consort will make their first visit to Wales on Friday, with thousands expected to join the crowds at Cardiff Castle.

The royal couple will attend a memorial service for Queen Elizabeth at Llandaff Cathedral, where they will be met by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan. They will also meet school pupils and members of the local community.

After a condolence proposal at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay, the king will then hold a private audience with Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford, at Cardiff Castle, where the first 2,000 people in the queue will be admitted.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort met crowds at Hillsborough Castle, Northern Ireland, earlier this week

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Preparations have been going on all week, with potholes filled in and stages for the media set up across the three locations.

Charles was Prince of Wales for more than 53 years after his investiture at Caernarfon Castle in North Wales in 1969.

“It was the big, formal introduction of Charles as this symbol – if you like – of Wales,” says Dr Mari Wiliam, lecturer in modern history at Bangor University.

“Polls from the late 1960s show about 70% to 80% approval of Charles being invested as Prince of Wales – but there were also very loud protests.”

“I think in Welsh history we tend to focus a lot on the protest against Charles and not so much on how he tried to integrate with Wales and Welsh culture,” she added.

Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle

As part of his preparations, King Charles spent 10 weeks studying Welsh language and history at Aberystwyth University.

Dr Rhodri Llwyd Morgan, director of Welsh language and culture at the university, told Sky News that King Charles’ time there was quite intensive.

He said: “You can tell from his timetable – they were quite senior academic staff who put him through his paces in terms of Welsh literature, the Welsh language, Welsh history, and they certainly made great strides with young Charles.”

Campaigns against the role of Prince of Wales

The royal title of Prince of Wales dates back to England’s conquest of the nation in the 13th century – and there have long been campaigns against the role, and for Welsh independence.

In Caernarfon, there is a mix of opinion about Charles ascending the throne. “I’m ambivalent,” Richard Roberts told Sky News.

“I was 13 in 1969 when the immigration took place here and it was at that time when we started to question politics and the situation of Wales in the British Isles, so I’m quite ambivalent.”

I ask if he will support Charles as king?

“No, not really, because I feel the establishment doesn’t respect my Wales,” he replied.

But others in the city are in full support. Janine Brown said: “I was very upset by the Queen’s passing, she had been in our lives for so long and I am a huge fan of the Queen and the Royal Family.”

“I’m glad he’s been given the opportunity to be king, that’s as it should be, obviously in sad circumstances, but I think he’ll be a good king,” she added.

“I welcome the king”

James Cook, who works in a high street cafe, believes the people of Wales will support Charles. He said: “It’s a role he’s been looking to take on for many years.

“I sympathize with the loss of Her Majesty but I welcome the King. He has always had the role of the Prince of Wales – I think he has been supported [of the people of Wales].”

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A survey by Cardiff University found that 55% of the population support having a monarchy, but 28% would rather have an elected head of state.

Dr Marion Floeffler, Reader in Welsh History at Cardiff University, says the visit to Cardiff will be an important milestone.

“Not just for those who support the monarchy in Wales, but also for those on the sidelines who are unsure and want to see how King Charles is going to engage with us here in Wales.

“Whether King Charles’s reign will strengthen or weaken the Welsh independence movement will depend very much on how he relates to the Welsh people and I would say that negotiation, caution and listening to the people is very much the order of the day.”

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