King Charles greeted by supporters and protesters in Wales | King Charles III


For more than half a century he held the title of Prince of Wales, but in the autumn sunshine on Friday Charles was airlifted down the Severn from his Gloucestershire country home for his first visit to the country in as king.

The reaction from crowds lining the streets of the Welsh capital was largely warm, but he was booed upon entering Cardiff Castle by anti-monarchy protesters and there were small demonstrations at Llandaff Cathedral and the Senedd building.

Charles is not universally popular in Wales and his announcement that William is to be made Prince of Wales was met with anger by many. Some see it as a symbol of English oppression over Wales.

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Laura Thomas-Walters, 29, a conservation scientist, was protesting outside the cathedral, where Charles and the Queen Consort attended a service of prayer and reflection with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

She said: “In the 21st century, in a democratic country, an unelected head of state has no place. It is an antiquated system of class oppression and class inequality, which is especially abhorrent at a time when inequality is rising so rapidly.

“A lot of people this winter are going to be paying their heating bills but we’re going to be paying millions for a coronation, funeral, changing stamps and Charles isn’t going to pay a penny in inheritance tax. I don’t think the title of Prince of Wales should exist. If so, it should belong to a Welshman.

Inside the cathedral, the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, said the Queen had managed to bring people together in difficult circumstances, such as her visit to the site of the Aberfan disaster in 1966, where 144 people lost their lives when a coal dump collapsed. at a primary school. Members of the Aberfan Wives group were among the guests at a reception for the king at Cardiff Castle later.

The Welsh language was at the center of the service with the Prime Minister, Mark Drakeford, reading the first Book of Kings in Welsh. Camilla wore a silver leek brooch given to her by the Queen.

After the service, Charles and Camilla strolled through Cathedral Green.

Susie Eardley, who gave the King a red rose, explained: “He gave me a rose in 1983 when he visited a conservation project at Dunraven Castle in South Wales. He had a red rose in his lapel and pinned it to my overalls. I thought about getting her a rose today.

Lynda Fowler was overjoyed when she met the King. She said, “He touched my veteran’s badge. I was in the RAF. I can’t wait to tell my grandkids, they’ll be so excited.

One man shouted: “We pay £100m a year for you, and for what?

Queen Elizabeth II’s children were due to pay their respects at their mother’s coffin ahead of her state funeral during a vigil of princes at Westminster Hall on Friday evening.

The King, Princess Royal, Duke of York and Earl of Wessex were to stand at the four corners of the catafalque, a tribute they first mounted at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

On Saturday evening, the Queen’s eight grandchildren will watch over her coffin.

As non-working members of the Royal Family, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry were allowed to wear uniforms for solemn vigils at the King’s request.

Charles was also meeting with religious leaders at Buckingham Palace on Friday.

The Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Pirbright Army Training Center in Surrey to meet Commonwealth troops due to attend the Queen’s state funeral.

Charles’ visit to Wales coincided with Owain Glyndŵr Day, which celebrates the life and legacy of the last Welsh Prince of Wales. Llandaff Cathedral was damaged during Glyndŵr’s struggle against the English in the 15th century.

At the Senedd – the Welsh parliament – Charles said his mother was very proud of the county’s achievements and deeply felt her grief. He said: “Through all the years of her reign, Wales could not have been closer to my mother’s heart. »

Addressing the Senedd in Welsh and English, the King said his mother was extremely proud of Wales and devoted to the country. Charles’ attitude towards the Senedd is important. The Queen was a friend of the devolved institution and her support – especially as England’s conservative establishment is often seen as dismissive – can help.

Laura McAllister, Professor of Public Policy and Governance for Wales at Cardiff University, said: ‘The Queen’s support has helped add gravity, status, legitimacy and profile to an institution. who demanded it in the first place. I think Charles will approach his engagement with decentralization in the same way.

Auriol Miller, director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, said: “It is heartening to hear the King make clear his intention to serve the whole union.”

There was a small protest outside the Senedd but a larger one at the gates of Cardiff Castle, where Charles had a private audience with Drakeford.

Banners carried the slogans: “Abolish the monarchy”, “Citizen not subject” and “Democracy now”. Glyndŵr flags were unfurled and a man held up a sign saying, “End of Prince of Wales title”.

Organizers had said the protest would be silent, but there were boos as the king entered the castle. One protester, Ryan, from Newport, South Wales, said: “The monarchy is a feudal anachronism. Transmitting power to others by virtue of inheritance does not seem to me to be compatible with the principle of democracy. We should rethink.


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