Belfast Telegraph

Welsh congratulations for Cerys MBE

The Prince of Wales has presented rock star Cerys Matthews with her MBE - and congratulated her in Welsh.

Charles bestowed the honour on the 45-year-old singer during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, and took the opportunity to demonstrate the language he learned before his investiture as Prince of Wales.

"He said congratulations in Welsh, which is a tough word - llongyfarchiadau," Cerys said.

"I recently was invited to one of his and Camilla's evenings in the Llwynywermod, where he has a house.

"It's a very magical part of the world and it sort of makes sense that he's got a place there because of his interest in botany and the natural sciences, so we talked about that."

Cerys, who was born in Cardiff and raised in Swansea, is best known as the lead singer of pop band Catatonia, but feels just as at home humming along to centuries-old folk tunes.

"I've been a collector of songs since I was a child," she said.

"Early jazz, country blues, Spanish songs, Catalan songs, Welsh, Irish - I think you find so much about humans and their history, the story of man, in a beautiful two-minute song.

"Quite often songs travel way further than we can ever travel, and they can outlive us all.

"There's one I'm thinking of - Who's Going To Show Your Pretty Little Feet ... it started off life as a Scottish song about a girl getting pregnant by the lord, and him not marrying her, her being ostracised. Her baby and her die of exposure.

"But the song goes over the sea, with the migrants from Scotland, to Appalachia, where it's picked up by people like Woody Guthrie and it becomes 'The longest train I ever did see was 100 coaches long, and the only woman I ever did love was on that train and gone'.

"From one tragic story of class divide, essentially, it becomes a very American love story."

Cerys is an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, among other charities, and s ince 2008 she has presented a show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

She wore a tailored black jacket for the occasion teamed with a black feathered hat by London milliner Jess Collett.

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