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50 facts about Prince of Wales to mark 50th anniversary of his investiture

Facts range from Charles’s sock maker, a Welsh company called Corgi, to the Welsh dragon ornament on the bonnet of his Aston Martin.

The Prince of Wales celebrates the 50th anniversary of being invested as the Prince of Wales on July 1 1969. (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The Prince of Wales celebrates the 50th anniversary of being invested as the Prince of Wales on July 1 1969. (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Here are 50 facts about the Prince of Wales to mark the 50th anniversary of his investiture:

– Early Life and Education
1 Charles is the longest serving Prince of Wales.
2 He first visited Wales in 1958 when he was just eight years old. He went to Holyhead with his parents and sister.
3 The heir to the throne became the Prince of Wales at the age of nine.
4 He was the 21st Prince of Wales and was the first since 1936.
5 The prince spent a term at the University College of Wales at Aberystwyth (April to June 1969) learning Welsh. The prince still uses Welsh phrases in speeches in Wales.
6 He made his first public speech in Welsh in May 1969, on the final day of the Urdd Gobaith Cymru (Welsh League of Youth) Eisteddfod at Aberystwyth.

– Titles and Heraldry
7 The prince is strongly identified with his badge, the Prince of Wales’s Feathers, and their use dates back to the 14th century and the time of Edward, the Black Prince.
8 Charles is one of three members of the royal family able to grant royal warrants of appointment to companies. The company is then entitled to display the Prince of Wales’s Feathers on their products.
9 Charles has three standards: his personal standard, standard for Scotland and his standard for Wales. They are used depending on where he is visiting in the United Kingdom.
10 The badge of the Prince of Wales comprises three silver (or white) feathers rising through a gold coronet of alternate crosses and fleur-de-lys. The motto “Ich Dien” (I serve) is on a dark blue ribbon beneath the coronet.
11 The motto of the prince is “Ich dien” meaning “I serve”.

– Investiture
12 Charles’s standard for Wales was flown for the first time on June 11 1969 at Castle Green, Cardiff, three weeks before the prince’s investiture, for the inauguration of the Royal Regiment of Wales.
During the investiture ceremony on July 1 1969, the Standard for Wales was flown from Caernarfon Castle’s Eagle Tower. The standard is also known as the Prince of Wales’s personal flag for use in Wales.
13 There were more than 4,000 people in the grounds of Caernarfon Castle to watch the Prince of Wales’s investiture. The television audience was in the hundreds of millions.
14 The Queen invested her son with the Insignia of his Principality and Earldom of Chester: a sword, coronet, mantle, gold ring and gold rod.
15 After being invested, the prince embarked on a tour of Wales to meet people across a number of communities.

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Charles with the Queen, Princess Royal and Duke of Edinburgh following his investiture at Caernarfon Castle. (PA)

– Royal Duties
16 In addition to attending important national occasions in Wales, such as the opening of the National Assembly, the Nato summit and the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, and other engagements throughout the year, the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall visit Wales every summer for a concentrated week of engagements, known as Wales Week.
17 At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last year the gathered leaders agreed that Charles would succeed the Queen as the next Head of the Commonwealth.

– Llwynywermod
18 The prince owns a house Llwynywermod in Llandovery. It is used by Charles and Camilla when they are in Wales.
19 Llwynywermod was bought in 2007 by the Duchy of Cornwall, the farmhouse was refurbished using local materials and the skills of Welsh craftsmen and women. These include Ty-Mawr Lime from Brecon who provided the lime plaster, Coe Stone stonemasons from Neath and Camillieri, roofing contractors from the Vale of Glamorgan.
20 The land of Llwynywermod comprises of around 215 acres, 173 acres of which is grazing and parkland and around 40 acres of woodland.
21 The interiors of Llwnywermod are furnished with local Welsh textiles (including Welsh shirting flannel to line the curtains), blankets and quilts and early 20th Century Welsh pottery. Rugs from Solva Woollen Mill, which the royal couple have visited, have also been used.
22 Hot water and heating are provided in Llwynywermod by a wood chip boiler which uses local timber, often from the estate, reducing fossil fuel use and long-term carbon dioxide emissions.
23 In December 2016, the prince welcomed members of the Inuit community to his Welsh home. The guests were from Canada’s national organisation of the Inuit, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), and were visiting Wales to discuss their work to standardise the Inuit language of Inuktitut and learn from the Welsh example of language revitalisation.
24 Charles hosts an evening of Welsh music and poetry at Llwynywermod every summer.

– Armed Services
25 The prince took up his first armed services appointment in 1969 as Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales.
26 The Prince of Wales is Colonel of the Welsh Guards and patron of the Welsh Guards Charity,
27 At the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony Charles wears the ceremonial uniform of Colonel of the Welsh Guards.
28 He is Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Valley, in Anglesey, North Wales.

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Charles meeting the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford at the prince’s Welsh home Llwynywermod in Llandovery. (Aaron Chown/PA)

– The Arts
29 Charles once described Wales as a “painter’s dream”.
30 The prince enjoys painting in Wales, and has completed watercolours of Cwm Berwyn, Ceredigion, and the Brecon Beacons.
31 In 2000, the prince revived the tradition of having an official harpist in order to foster Welsh talent on the harp, the national instrument of Wales.
32 There have been five holders of the title of Official Harpist since it was re-created in 2000. The new harpist will be announced this week.
33 On March 5 2019, Charles attended a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the investiture. At the reception, there was a performance by students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which included a new piece inspired by the legend of Lady of Llyn y Fan, a mountain lake near Llwynywermod.
34 Charles is a great admirer of plygain, a Welsh choral folk tradition, and has twice hosted plygain concerts.
35 The spectacular Royal Harp was especially made for the prince by the Salvi company in 2006.
36 Welsh band Stereophonics were supported by the Prince’s Trust in their early days. The band received a grant to buy musical equipment.

– Charities
37 The prince founded Prime Cymru in 2001 to provide practical support to people aged 50 and over in Wales who want to set up and run their own business
38 More than 3,000 of the most disadvantaged young people in Wales are supported by the Prince’s Trust, of which Charles is founder and president, each year.
39 Business in the Community Cymru, of which the prince is Royal Founding Patron, has 300 businesses of all sizes engaged across Wales and has raised millions of pounds for hundreds of community projects.
40 The prince is patron or president of more than 400 organisations.
41 Charles is patron of 40 Welsh charities and organisations such as the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; Ty Hafan, the children’s hospice in Wales; the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen and the Welsh National Opera. He is also patron of the University of Wales Trinity St David.
42 Students from the Prince’s Foundation, of which Charles is president, designed the intricate performance stage at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Twenty-seven students from Britain, Europe, Africa, South Asia and North America spent two weeks together in South Wales, learning about sustainable building practices, Welsh architecture and traditional construction techniques.
43 The Prince’s Foundation also helped to develop the Swansea University’s Bay Campus, which is built on a formerly derelict patch of land.

– Interests
44 Charles loves Bara Brith which translates to speckled bread and is a traditional Welsh fruit loaf made with tea.
45 The prince’s socks are made by a Welsh company called Corgi which is based in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.
46 Charles’ Aston Martin carries a Welsh Dragon ornament on the bonnet.
47 While in Wales, the prince attends the Church in Wales church in the village of Myddfai.
48 When Wales won the Rugby Grand Slam in the 2019 Six Nations competition, the prince sent a congratulations message to the team, saying he was “extremely proud of Wales”.
49 Having heard that the last traditional Welsh clog maker was having difficulty recruiting an apprentice, Charles helped to recruit a new trainee through his Prince’s Trust to ensure the tradition could continue.
50 It was in Wales at the Countryside In 1970 conference, where the prince first spoke publicly of the dangers of pollution and plastics and their impact on the natural world. Charles said: “Waste is yet another problem. When you think that each person produces roughly 2lbs of rubbish per day and there are 55 million of us on this island using non-returnable bottles and indestructible plastic containers, it is not difficult to imagine the mountains of refuse that we shall have to deal with somehow.”

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