Investiture of the Prince of Wales

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Caernarfon Castle set up for the investiture of Charles III
, 30 June 1969

The prince of Wales is sometimes presented and invested with the insignia of his rank and dignity in the manner of a coronation. The title is usually given to the heir apparent of the English or British throne. An investiture is ceremonial, as the title is formally conferred via letters patent issued by the monarch.

The ceremony was last held in 1969 for Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son and heir apparent, who became king on 8 September 2022 as Charles III. The current prince of Wales, Charles's elder son William, has not yet celebrated his investiture.

Native Prince of Wales

It is recorded that Llywelyn ap Gruffudd had deposited his coronet along with his other regalia with the monks at Cymer Abbey for safekeeping at the start of his final campaign in 1282. He was killed later that year. The coronet was seized and presented to King Edward I of England as a token of the complete annihilation of the independent Welsh state.[1]

English, later British rule

The tradition of investing the


Frederick, Prince of Wales, later had the Coronet of Frederick, Prince of Wales, made at a cost of £140 5s. in 1728. It is unknown whether Frederick ever wore the coronet himself, but it was used by both his son, George III, and his grandson, George IV, when each was Prince of Wales.[3]

Due to its age Frederick's coronet was replaced by the Coronet of George, Prince of Wales, made for the future King George V. At George's own coronation in 1911, the coronet was worn by his son, Edward, the next Prince of Wales.[4]

When the former King Edward VIII went into exile as the Duke of Windsor in 1936 (following his abdication), he took with him the Coronet of George, Prince of Wales, a highly controversial – and illegal – act. This coronet had been specially created for King George V, then Prince of Wales, and he wore it at his father's coronation in 1902. The traditional coronet being unavailable, and with the older Coronet of Frederick, Prince of Wales being viewed as unusable due to age, a new Prince of Wales coronet was made to be used for the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales.[5]

Investiture of Charles

Prince Charles was made Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester by letters patent on 26 July 1958,[6][7] but the official investiture was not held until 1 July 1969. The ceremony was at Caernarfon Castle.[citation needed] Taught at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth by the lecturer and Welsh-nationalist politician Edward Millward,[8] Prince Charles spent ten weeks leading up to his investiture learning about Welsh culture, history and language, and during the ceremony he gave his replies in both English and Welsh. He gave his address in Welsh.[9]

I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I will bear unto thee, to live and die against all manner of folks.[10]

On the evening of 28 June 2009—to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the investiture—BBC Parliament broadcast a repeat of the original BBC TV colour outside broadcast from 1 July 1969, fronted by Cliff Michelmore and Richard Baker. This was preceded by an interview with Prince Charles recorded a few days before his investiture. The BBC repeated the broadcast on 1 July 2019, to mark the 50th anniversary.[11]

Investiture of William

Prince William was made Prince of Wales on 9 September 2022.[12] Out of 23 heirs apparent, William will be the third to be invested in Wales itself.[13]

Opposition to investitures

The protests leading up to the investiture of Charles as Prince of Wales were described as the "anti-investiture movement".[14] Multiple organisations and individuals in Wales were against the investiture including Dafydd Iwan,[15] Edward Millward,[16] Cofia 1282 ("remember 1282")[17] and the Welsh Language Society.[18] The investiture itself was controversial and led to widespread protests.[19] On the day of the investiture, a few nonviolent protesters were arrested. [20]

Since the investiture of Charles, further notable organisations and figures in Wales have called for an end to the title including Plaid Cymru (which has since changed its stance),[21][22] Republic,[23] Michael Sheen,[24] Dafydd Elis-Thomas,[25] Leanne Wood,[26] Carrie Harper[27] and Bethan Sayed.[28]

On 9 September 2022 Prince William was announced as Prince of Wales by King Charles III.[29] By 12 September, a petition calling to end the use of the title had received nearly 20,000 signatures.[30]

Opinion polls

A BBC Wales poll in 1999 finding that 73 per cent of Welsh speakers want the position of Prince of Wales to continue.[31]

A BBC poll in 2009, marking the 40th anniversary of the investiture, showed that 58 per cent of the Welsh population was in favour of a similar public ceremony for Prince William after Prince Charles becomes king.[32]

A poll in July 2018 again found the 57% of Welsh people in support of the title passing on when the current prince becomes king with 27% opposed, support for a similar investiture was less certain however, with 31% supporting, 27% opposed and 18% wanting a different kind of investiture.[33]


  1. ^ "History of Wales".
  2. ^ "Titles and Heraldry | Prince of Wales". Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  3. ^ Mears, et al., p. 31.
  4. ^ "The Prince of Wales's Coronet (1902)". Royal Collection Trust. Inventory no. 31710.
  5. ^ Mears, et al., p. 24.
  6. ^ "No. 41460". The London Gazette. 29 July 1958. p. 4733.
  7. ^ "Previous Princes of Wales". Charles, Prince of Wales. Archived from the original on 27 August 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Charles termed serious, hard-working student". Leader-Post. 24 May 1969. p. 1.
  9. ^ "Investiture as Prince of Wales". Charles, Prince of Wales.
  10. ^ "The Investiture of Prince Charles". British Movietone. 3 July 1969. Retrieved 22 June 2022 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ "Charles: Prince for Wales?". BBC One. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  12. ^ "William and Kate named Prince and Princess of Wales by the King". BBC. 9 September 2022. Retrieved 12 September 2022. Prince William and his wife Catherine have been named the new Prince and Princess of Wales by King Charles III.
  13. ^ Jones, Branwen (12 September 2022). "How the Prince of Wales' investiture could look amid reports it will be a scaled-back event in Cardiff". Wales Online. Retrieved 12 September 2022. William will be the 23rd heir apparent of the British throne to claim the title, but only the third to be invested in Wales itself.
  14. ^ Ellis, John Stephen (2008). Investiture: Royal Ceremony and National Identity in Wales, 1911-1969. University of Wales Press. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-7083-2000-6.
  15. ^ Jones, Craig Owen (Summer 2013). ""Songs of Malice and Spite"?: Wales, Prince Charles, and an Anti-Investiture Ballad of Dafydd Iwan". Music and Politics. 7 (2). doi:10.3998/mp.9460447.0007.203. hdl:2027/spo.9460447.0007.203. ISSN 1938-7687.
  16. ^ "Prince Charles' Wales Investiture Was As Controversial As 'The Crown' Shows". Bustle. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  17. ^ "50 years since the Investiture". National Library of Wales Blog. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  18. ^ Ellis, John Stephen (2008). Investiture: Royal Ceremony and National Identity in Wales, 1911-1969. University of Wales Press. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-7083-2000-6.
  19. ^ "50 years since the Investiture". National Library of Wales Blog. 1 July 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  20. ^ Stephen), Ellis, John S. (John (2008). Investiture : royal ceremony and national identity in Wales, 1911-1969. University of Wales Press. p. 235. OCLC 647632453.
  21. ^ "Plaid Cymru objections to Prince of Wales". Western Mail. 8 August 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  22. ^ "Declaring a new Prince of Wales with no discussion with the people of Wales wasn't right". Nation.Cymru. 10 September 2022. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  23. ^ "'Wales doesn't need a prince': Anti-monarchy billboards spark backlash". Sky News. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  24. ^ "Michael Sheen returned OBE to air views on royal family". the Guardian. 29 December 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  25. ^ "'Devolved, democratic' Wales doesn't 'need' a Prince of Wales any more says Lord Elis-Thomas". Nation.Cymru. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  26. ^ "@leannewood". Twitter. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  27. ^ "Carrie Harper tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 9 September 2022.
  28. ^ "@bethanjenkins". Twitter. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  29. ^ "Prince and Princess of Wales: William and Catherine to 'carve their own future'". the Guardian. 10 September 2022. Retrieved 10 September 2022.
  30. ^ Morris, Seren (12 September 2022). "Petition to end Prince of Wales title reaches 19k signatures". Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  31. ^ "Wales backs Charles for king". BBC News Online. 25 June 1999. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  32. ^ "Poll shows support for monarchy". BBC News Online. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
  33. ^ ITV (6 July 2018). "ITV News Poll: Should Charles be the last Prince of Wales?". ITV News. ITV. Retrieved 13 March 2022.