Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Charles quietly celebrating 50th anniversary, says Camilla during Swansea visit

Charles became the Prince of Wales on July 1, 1969 – the same year Swansea became a city.

The Prince of Wales visited Victoria Park for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Swansea’s City status (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)
The Prince of Wales visited Victoria Park for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Swansea’s City status (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall has said her husband was “celebrating quietly” the 50th anniversary of his investiture as the Prince of Wales.

Camilla’s comments came as she visited south Wales with Charles to mark another five-decade milestone – Swansea being bestowed city status in 1969.

The honour was announced the week Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales – July 1 1969 – during a ceremony staged at Caernarfon Castle.

On Swansea’s sea front, which was bathed in warm summer sunshine, the couple met community stalwarts, dignitaries, Swansea charity bosses, schoolchildren and locals who remembered when Charles visited the city 50 years ago to the day with the Queen to mark its new status.

Asked by PA news agency how it felt to be back in Wales, the duchess replied: “It’s lovely, especially in this weather.”

Quizzed about how her husband would be marking his milestone she replied with a smile: “Another anniversary I know – celebrating quietly.”

The Swansea celebrations were staged in Victoria Park, close to the Patti Pavilion, a local landmark, where the couple went on a brief walkabout meeting local schoolchildren, youngsters from uniformed groups and members of the public when they first arrived.

bpanews_61b58d47-a73d-43e2-afc0-49dd7c8f3b8f_embedded243892569
The Prince of Wales arrives at Victoria Park (Jacob King/PA)

Teacher Laura Williams, 40, who had brought her eight-month-old son Lenny to meet the prince said: “Charles said ‘I’m trying to get a smile out of him, that’s all I want’. I said he did smile – for your wife.”

Commenting on Swansea getting city status, she said: “It was fantastic, it really put Swansea on the map.

“The city had been damaged by bombing during the war so it was a positive step.”

Charles chatted to Alison Thomas, 74, and Kay Richards, 78, who remembered his trip to Swansea 50 years ago and the celebrations that followed.

Ms Thomas said: “We told him we remembered holding street parties when Swansea got city status and he said we must have been very young or as old as he was.”

The visit formed part of Swansea 50, a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary, which will include a host of community events ranging from street parties and exhibitions to live concerts from the Stereophonics, Pete Tong and Jess Glynne.

Charles and Camilla also met members of the Swansea community and representatives from the couple’s charities and patronages working in the city and across Wales.

Later, Charles travelled to the nearby Morriston Tabernacle Chapel, a place he visited during his tour of Wales in 1969 following his investiture as Prince of Wales.

At the time the congregation had staged a national hymn-singing festival to celebrate the event, something the prince remembered well.

He said: “I don’t know about some of you but I find it very hard to know where those 50 years have gone and whether any of you were here at the time. One or two of you may have been.”

Charles added: “One of the things that I will never forget from 50 years ago was the sheer volume of sound from the size of the choir when I came then.”

bpanews_61b58d47-a73d-43e2-afc0-49dd7c8f3b8f_embedded243895754
It is 50 years since Charles’ investiture as the Prince of Wales (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

Every summer Charles and Camilla regularly tour Wales, visiting communities across the country and meeting organisations and charities.

The visit to Swansea came after a freedom of information request by WalesOnline to Highways England revealed the cost to design, create and install signs renaming the Second Severn Crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge – £216,513.

The change of name was a controversial move that was criticised at the time with Plaid Cymru’s then-leader Leanne Wood tweeting: “Is this a late April fool joke?”

A petition against the decision was launched on Change.org attracting more than 38,000 signatures.

But then-Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns described it as a “fitting tribute” to Charles’ “decades of continued, dedicated service to our nation”.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph