We now have a new Prince of Wales. This one, like many of those before him, is English, but there were Welsh Princes of Wales long before the English Monarch, Edward I, bestowed that title on his heir, the future Edward II.  According to legend, the Welsh weren’t especially chuffed about being under English rule, and in 1284, Edward attempted to placate them by travelling to the Welsh castle of Carnarvon with his queen, and, at some point, asking the upper echelons – peasants doubtless had no say – if they’d be open to pledging allegiance to a Prince of Wales who’d been born in Wales and spoke not a word of English. The Welsh lords – women’s opinions weren’t solicited either – agreed. They had, however, somehow failed to notice that the queen was very much ‘in the family way’ and were thus much taken aback when Edward then presented them with the infant Queen Eleanor had considerately just provided him with. Having been born in Wales and not yet being a great conversationalist in any language, the latest addition to the royal line fulfilled both requirements and the Welsh were obliged to accept him. A nice bit of folklore, that, but while Edward Jnr. might have been born at Carnarvon in 1284, that was neither the time nor the place he was created Prince of Wales. That didn’t happen until 1301, by which time his English was presumably quite fluent.






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