Where does Prince Charles go on his summer holidays? Where did William and Kate spend their first blissful years of married life? And where did Queen Victoria buy her knickers? We celebrate some of our greatest royal Welsh connections.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started their married life together living on the Isle of Anglesey just off the north coast of Wales, where Prince William served with the RAF as a co-pilot on the Sea King search and rescue helicopter. Here are 10 great things to do in Anglesey:-
There's plenty of choice for places to stay in Anglesey - search for accommodation.
Find out more about Anglesey at www.visitanglesey.co.uk
Caernarfon Castle, a World Heritage Site, is set on a peninsula bounded by the Menai Strait and at the heart of North Wales. It is one of the most impressive of all the castles built by Edward I and is one of Europe's great medieval fortresses. In 1969 it was the venue for the current Prince of Wales’ Investiture and was constructed not only for military purposes but also as a seat of government and royal palace.
A Royal Home in Wales: Llwynywermod
Llwynywermod is used by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall when they are in Wales on their regular visits and annual summer tour. When they are not there then visitors can stay at the 2 barn conversions adjoining the main farmhouse (North & West Range). It’s located near Myddfai, Llandovery in Carmarthenshire and set within 192 acres of farmland with views over historic parkland. Llwynywermod was renovated using the expertise of skilled Welsh craftspeople and materials were sourced from Wales wherever possible. The interior has also been furnished with local Welsh textiles, blankets, quilts, rugs and pottery.
Things to do in the area:-
- According to a VisitBritain 2011 report, Wales' castles are Britain's most popular attraction with foreign visitors and more popular than Buckingham Palace! Wales has plenty to choose from - 641 in fact and so make sure Carreg Cennen Castle, just 4 miles from Llandeilo, is on your itinerary.
- Take a stroll around Llandeilo with its many antique shops and art galleries.
The Cambrian Mountains Initiative was inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales and as the President aims to help sustain traditional upland farms and rural communities. Find out about the area and its local produce - www.cambrianmountains.co.uk
The British Royal Family has been wearing Welsh gold wedding rings since 1923. The Welsh gold used to make the wedding ring was taken from a Clogau gold nugget and the tradition has continued to this day including Prince Charles, Diana The Princess of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
In 1911, at the investiture in Caernarfon Castle of Edwards Prince of Wales, the coronet placed on his head by his father, King George the fifth, was fashioned entirely from Clogau Welsh Gold.
Dolaucothi Gold Mine
These unique gold mines overlook the beautiful Cothi Valley in Carmarthenshire. The Romans, who exploited the site almost 2,000 years ago, left behind a complex of pits and channels. Guided tours take visitors through the Roman and the more recent underground workings.
Rhiannon Welsh Gold
Rhiannon Evans has been designing and making unique jewellery in Tregaron in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains for over 30 years. Her jewellery is supplied world-wide and is handmade in Silver, Gold and Welsh Gold. Visitors can watch the jewellery being made by local Welsh speaking goldsmiths in viewing workshops.
- Plas Maenan Country House Hotel is owned by James Burt, a former member of the Queen's staff at Buckingham Palace.
- Princess Margaret was a regular visitor to Plas Dinas Country House and more recently her great nephew, Prince William.
North Wales Royal Itinerary
The Prince of Wales
Prince Charles is the latest in a long line of heirs to the British throne who have enjoyed the title of Prince of Wales.
With the range of principalities that existed in Wales until the middle ages, it was rare that any one leader could argue to have united the country under one banner and become a Prince of Wales in its entirety.
While the likes of Hywel Dda and Llywelyn ab Iorwerth came to rule vast swathes of Wales, it was only during Edward I's reign that Wales became a unified area under one monarch. But, it was an English monarch.
Edward, the scourge of Wales and the builder of many of castles used to subdue the population, imposed his infant son, Prince Edward, on the Welsh as their new prince in 1301.
Since then, only one domestic warlord, Owain Glyndwr has had a claim to the title, and was proclaimed as such in 1400. His defeat in 1409 marked the end of native Welsh princes for good and, since then, the eldest son of the reigning monarch has been made Prince of Wales. (Daughters of the reigning monarch do not become Princess of Wales, as it is only given to a male heir.)
The title isn't automatic, however. It has to be created each time by the reigning monarch - and as such is not an hereditary title.
The first official Prince of Wales, the infant future King Edward II, was born in Caernarfon Castle, and in 1911 the future Edward VIII was invested in the castle when he became Prince of Wales. Prince Charles was also invested in the castle when he was given the title on July 1st, 1969.