Prince of Wales: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HRH The Prince Charles, the current Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales (Welsh: Tywysog Cymru) is a title traditionally granted to the Heir Apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (and formerly the Kingdom of Great Britain and before that the Kingdom of England) and the fifteen other independent Commonwealth realms in personal union with the Crown of the United Kingdom. The current Prince of Wales is Prince Charles, the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II.


Roles and responsibilities

The Prince of Wales currently has no formal public role or responsibility that has been legislated by Parliament or otherwise delegated by the Monarchy. Charles, as the Prince of Wales, is the present Duke of Cornwall, responsible for the duchy of Cornwall.


For most of the post-Roman period, Wales was divided into several smaller states. Before the Norman conquest of England, the most powerful Welsh ruler at any given time was generally known as King of the Britons. In the 12th century and the 13th century, this title evolved into Prince of Wales.[citation needed] In Latin, the new title was "Princeps Wallie", and in Welsh it was "Tywysog Cymru". The literal translation of "Tywysog" is "Leader". (The verb tywys means to lead, which shares a common root with the modern Irish for prime minister, the Taoiseach.)

Only a handful of native princes had their claim to the overlordship of Wales recognised by the English Crown. The first known to have used such a title was Owain Gwynedd, adopting the title Prince of the Welsh around 1165 after earlier using 'rex Walie' (King of Wales). His grandson Llywelyn the Great is not known to have used the title 'Prince of Wales' as such, although his use, from around 1230, of the style 'Prince of Aberffraw, Lord of Snowdon' was tantamount to a proclamation of authority over most of Wales, and he did use the title 'Prince of North Wales' as did his predecessor Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd. In 1240, the title was theoretically inherited by his son Dafydd ap Llywelyn, though he is not known to have used it. Instead he styled himself as 'Prince of Wales' around 1244, the first Welsh prince to do so. In 1246, his nephew Llywelyn the Last (or Llywelyn ap Gruffydd) succeeded to the throne of Gwynedd, and used the style as early as 1258. In 1267, with the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery, he was recognised by both King Henry III of England and the representative of the Papacy as Prince of Wales. In 1282, Llywelyn was killed during Edward I of England's invasion of Wales, and although his brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd succeeded to the Welsh princeship, issuing documents as prince, his principate was not recognised by the English Crown.

Three Welshmen, however, claimed the title of Prince of Wales during the medieval era.

The first was Madog ap Llywelyn, a member of the house of Gwynedd, who led a nationwide revolt in 1294-5, defeating English forces in battle near Denbigh and seizing Caernarfon castle. His revolt was suppressed, however, after the Battle of Maes Moydog in March 1295, and the prince imprisoned in London.

In the 1370s, Owain Lawgoch, an English-born descendant of one of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's brothers, claimed the title of Prince of Wales, but was assassinated in France in 1378 before he could return to Wales to claim his inheritance.

It is Owain Glyndŵr, however, whom many Welsh people regard as being the last native Prince. On September 16, 1400, he was proclaimed Prince of Wales by his supporters, and held parliaments at Harlech Castle and elsewhere during his revolt, which encompassed all of Wales. It was not until 1409 that his revolt in quest of Welsh independence was suppressed by Henry IV.

The tradition of investing the heir of the monarch of Britain with the title of "Prince of Wales" is usually considered to have begun in 1301, when King Edward I of England, having completed the conquest of Wales, gave the title to his heir, Prince Edward (later King Edward II of England). According to myth, the king had promised the Welsh that he would name "a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of English" and then produced his infant son to their surprise (and presumable chagrin). However, the story may well be apocryphal, as it can only be traced to the 16th century, and, in the time of Edward I, the English aristocracy spoke Norman French, not English (some versions of the legend include lack of knowledge in both languages as a requirement, and one reported version has the very specific phrase "born on Welsh soil and speaking no other language"). However, Edward II certainly was born at Caernarfon while his father was campaigning in Wales, and like all infants, could not at the time speak English or any other language.

Interestingly, William Camden writing in 1607 states in his book Britannia that originally the title "Prince of Wales" was not conferred automatically upon the eldest living son of the King of England because Edward II (who had been the first English prince of Wales) neglected to invest his eldest son, the future Edward III, with that title. It was Edward III who revived the practice of naming the eldest son Prince of Wales which was then maintained by his successors:

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.[1]

Nevertheless, according to conventional wisdom since 1301 the Prince of Wales has usually been the eldest living son of the King or Queen Regnant of England (subsequently of Great Britain, 1707, and of the United Kingdom, 1801). The word "living" is important. Following the death of Prince Arthur, the Prince of Wales, Henry VII invested his second son, the future Henry VIII, with the title--although only after it was clear that Arthur's wife, Catherine of Aragon, was not pregnant. The title is not automatic; it merges into the Crown when a prince accedes to the throne, or lapses on his death leaving the sovereign free to re-grant it should another candidate qualify, such as an heir-apparent other than the eldest living son, such as that deceased eldest son's eldest son (for example, George III).

The Principality of Wales, nowadays, is always conferred along with the Earldom of Chester. The convention began in 1399; all previous Princes of Wales also received the earldom, but separately from the Principality. Indeed, before 1272 a hereditary and not necessarily royal Earldom of Chester had already been created several times, eventually merging in the crown each time. The earldom was recreated, merging in the Crown in 1307 and again in 1327. Its creations since have been associated with the creations of the Principality of Wales.

Heraldic insignia

The "Prince of Wales's Feathers". This Heraldic badge of the Heir Apparent is derived from the ostrich feathers borne by Edward, the Black Prince. The German motto "Ich dien" means "I serve."

As heir apparent to the reigning 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 King Edward VIII in 1910, and followed by the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles.[1]

He has a badge of three ostrich feathers (which can be seen on the reverse of the previous design for decimal British two pence coins dated up to 2008); it dates back to the Black Prince and is his as the English heir even before he is made Prince of Wales.

In addition to these symbols used most frequently, he has a special standard for use in Wales itself. Moreover, as Duke of Rothesay he has a special coat of arms for use in Scotland (and a corresponding standard); as Duke of Cornwall the like for use in the Duchy of Cornwall. Representations of all three may be found at List of British flags.

For theories about the origin of the ostrich feather badge and of the motto "Ich dien" (German: "I serve"), see Prince of Wales's feathers.

Other titles and investiture

The Principality of Wales and Earldom of Chester must be created, and are not automatically acquired like the Duchy of Cornwall, which is the Heir Apparent's title in England, and the Dukedom of Rothesay, Earldom of Carrick, and High Stewardship of Scotland, which are the Heir Apparent's titles in Scotland. The dignities are not hereditary, but may be re-created if the Prince of Wales predeceases the King. For example, when Prince Frederick, Prince of Wales predeceased King George II, his eldest son, Prince George (the future George III) was created Prince of Wales. The heir apparent is only Duke of Cornwall if he is the sovereign's eldest living son; hence the future George III, grandson of George II, did not receive this title. See Duke of Cornwall for more details.

If holder of the Dukedom of York, the traditional title for the monarch's second son, becomes Heir Apparent on the death of an older brother, he is entitled to retain that title. Prince Henry (later Henry VIII), Prince Charles (later Charles I) and Prince George (later George V) were all second sons, and were therefore already Duke of York when they received the Principality of Wales.

Following the reversion of the Earldom of Chester to the crown, in 1254 Henry III passed the Lordship of Chester (but not the title of Earl) to his son Edward, who as Edward I bestowed the Earldom of Chester on his son Edward when he created him the first Prince of Wales in 1301. The Duchy of Cornwall was first created by Edward III for his son Edward, the Black Prince in 1337.

The Earldom of Carrick merged into the crown of Scotland with the accession in 1306 of the Earl of Carrick, Robert the Bruce, who transferred the title to his son David in 1328 (the title became automatically subsidiary to the Dukedom of Rothesay in 1469); the High Stewardship merged into the crown with the accession of Robert, 7th High Steward of Scotland as Robert III in 1371; the Dukedom of Rothesay was created by Robert III of Scotland for his son David in 1398. All three of these titles merged with the Principality in the same person after the personal union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603 with the accession of James VI of Scotland as James I of England, with the first Prince of Wales to receive them being his son Henry Frederick (subsequently an incorporating union created a single British crown in 1707).

Princes of Wales may be invested, but investiture is not necessary to be created Prince of Wales. Peers were also invested, but investitures for peers ceased in 1621, during a time when peerages were being created so frequently that the investiture ceremony became cumbersome. Most investitures for Princes of Wales were held in front of Parliament, but in 1911, the future Edward VIII was invested in Caernarvon Castle in Wales. The present Prince of Wales was also invested there, in 1969. During the reading of the letters patent creating the Prince, the Honours of the Principality of Wales are delivered to the Prince. The coronet of the heir-apparent bears four-crosses pattée alternating with four fleurs-de-lis, surmounted by a single arch (the Sovereign's crowns are of the same design, but use two arches). A gold rod is also used in the insignia; gold rods were formally used in the investitures of dukes, but survive now in the investitures of Princes of Wales only. Also part of the insignia are a ring, a sword and a robe.

"Heir Apparent" vs. "Heir Presumptive"

The title Prince of Wales is given only to the heir apparent — that is, somebody who cannot be displaced in the succession to the throne by any future birth. In countries that practice male primogeniture, this is usually the eldest son of the reigning monarch, or, if he is deceased, his eldest son, and so on, or if the monarch's eldest son has died without issue, the monarch's second eldest son, etc.

A daughter or sibling of the sovereign who is currently next in line to the throne is not the "heir apparent" because they would be displaced in the succession by any future legitimate son of the sovereign: they are instead the "heir or heiress presumptive" and cannot therefore take the title of Prince (or Princess) of Wales in their own right. Hence there was no heir apparent during the reign of George VI, who had no sons: Princess Elizabeth was heiress presumptive, and was hence not eligible to be titled Princess of Wales. After it became obvious that George VI was unlikely to father more children, the option of bestowing the title of Princess of Wales was considered (but ultimately rejected, due in large part to a lack of enthusiasm for the idea from the heiress presumptive herself).

It is not impossible for the heir apparent to be female - for example, if a reigning monarch's eldest son with daughters but no sons were to then predecease the monarch then the deceased heir apparent's eldest daughter would become heir apparent. There does not appear to be any impediment to a female heir apparent being made Princess of Wales in her own right, but such a situation has never occurred in practice.

List of Princes of Wales


Prince of Wales as independent title

Picture Name Heir of Birth Became Prince of Wales Ceased to be Prince of Wales Death Other titles while Prince of Wales Princess of Wales
Llywelyn the Last at Cardiff City Hall.jpg Llywelyn ap Gruffudd N/A
son of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn
c.1223 September 29, 1267 December 11, 1282
killed in battle.
King of Gwynedd Eleanor de Montfort

Prince of Wales as title of English Heir-apparent

Picture Name Heir of Birth Became Heir to the Throne Created Prince of Wales Ceased to be Prince of Wales Death Other titles while Prince of Wales Princess of Wales
EdwardII-Cassell.jpg Edward of Carnarvon
later Edward II
Edward I April 25, 1284 August 19, 1284 February 7, 1301 7 July 1307
became King
September 21, 1327 Count of Ponthieu, Earl of Chester  –
Plantagenet, Edward, The Black Prince, Iconic Image.JPG Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince Edward III June 15, 1330 May 12, 1343[2] June 8, 1376 Earl of Chester, Duke of Cornwall Joan of Kent
Richard II of England.jpg Richard of Bordeaux
later Richard II
January 6, 1367 June 8, 1376 November 20, 1376[2] June 22, 1377
became King
February 14, 1400 Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester  –
Henry5.JPG Henry of Monmouth
later Henry V
Henry IV September 16, 1387 September 30, 1399 October 15, 1399[2] March 21, 1413
became King
August 31, 1422 Duke of Lancaster, Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester
Badge of the Prince of Wales.svg Edward of Westminster Henry VI October 13, 1453 March 15, 1454[2] April 11, 1471 Father deposed May 4, 1471 Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester Anne Neville
King-edward-v.jpg Edward of the Sanctuary
later Edward V
Edward IV November 4, 1470 April 11, 1471 June 26, 1471[2] April 9, 1483
became King
1483? Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester
Edward of Middleham (geograph).jpg Edward of Middleham Richard III 1473 1483 August 24, 1483[2] April 9, 1484 Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, Earl of Salisbury
Arthur2.png Arthur Tudor Henry VII September 20, 1486 November 29, 1489 April 2, 1502 Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester Catherine of Aragon
HenryVIII 1509.jpg Henry Tudor
later Henry VIII
June 28, 1491 April 2, 1502 February 18, 1504[2] April 22, 1509
became King
January 28, 1547 Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester, Duke of York
Edward VI of England c. 1546.jpg Edward Tudor
later Edward VI
Henry VIII October 12, 1537 1537 January 28, 1547
became King
July 6, 1553 Duke of Cornwall,
Earl of Chester
Henry Prince of Wales 1610 Robert Peake.jpg Henry Frederick Stuart James I February 19, 1594 March 24, 1603 June 4, 1610[2] November 6, 1612 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
Prince Charles the Future Charles I by Robert Peake, 1613. (University of Cambridge).jpg Charles Stuart
later Charles I
November 19, 1600 November 6, 1612 November 4, 1616[2] March 27, 1625
became King
January 30, 1649 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of York, Duke of Albany, Marquess of Ormonde, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Ross, Lord Ardmannoch, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
KING GEORGE II.jpg George Augustus
later George II
George I November 10, 1683 August 1, 1714 September 27, 1714 June 11, 1727
became King
October 25, 1760 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Milford Haven, Viscount Northallerton, Baron Renfrew, Baron Tewkesbury, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Caroline of Ansbach
Frederick Prince of Wales.jpg Frederick Louis George II February 1, 1707 June 11, 1727 January 8, 1729[2] March 31, 1751 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of Edinburgh, Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Eltham, Viscount Launceston, Baron Renfrew, Baron Snowdon, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha
George III in Coronation Robes.jpg George William Frederick
later George III
June 4, 1738 March 31, 1751 April 20, 1751 October 25, 1760
became King
January 29, 1820 Duke of Edinburgh, Marquess of the Isle of Ely, Earl of Chester, Earl of Eltham, Viscount Launceston, Baron Snowdon
George IV bust1.jpg George Augustus Frederick
later George IV
George III August 12, 1762 August 19, 1762[2] January 29, 1820
became King
June 26, 1830 Prince Regent, Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Caroline of Brunswick
Prince Edward 1860.jpg Albert Edward
later Edward VII
Victoria November 9, 1841 December 8, 1841 January 22, 1901
became King
May 6, 1910 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Dublin, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Alexandra of Denmark
NSRW George V when Duke of Cornwall and York.png George
later George V
Edward VII June 3, 1865 January 22, 1901 November 9, 1901 May 6, 1910
became King
January 20, 1936 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Duke of York, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Earl of Inverness, Baron Renfrew, Baron Killarney, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Mary of Teck
Edward V111 circa1915.jpg Edward
later Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor
George V June 23, 1894 May 6, 1910 June 23, 1910 January 20, 1936
became King
May 28, 1972 Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland
Charles, Prince of Wales.jpg Charles Elizabeth II November 14, 1948 February 6, 1952 July 26, 1958 Incumbent Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Chester, Earl of Carrick, Baron Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Prince and Great Steward of Scotland Lady Diana Spencer;
Camilla Shand (latter does not use title "Princess of Wales")


See also

External links

Simple English

File:Badge of the Prince of
Sometimes called "The Prince of Wales's Feathers" this is the heraldic badge of the heir apparent

Prince of Wales is a title usually held by the eldest son of the King or Queen of the United Kingdom. The title is not automatic, but is given by the reigning monarch.

When a person becomes King or Queen, their eldest son immediately becomes Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay. The current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948 and was known as Prince Charles of Edinburgh (his father is The Duke of Edinburgh). In 1952, his mother became Queen and he became The Duke of Cornwall (in Scotland he was called The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay). In 1957, the Queen made him Prince of Wales, and he is now called Prince of Wales, except in Scotland, where he is still The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.

King George II created his son, Prince Frederick, Prince of Wales. When Frederick died, the King made Frederick's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales.


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