Majority of Welsh people support ceremony for William to be Prince of Wales

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·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read
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The Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle, by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. (PA Images)

A majority of people in Wales want to see a ceremony for Prince William if he becomes the Prince of Wales after the Queen's death, according to a new poll.

In 1969, Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle, after studying for a term at Aberystwyth University, where he learnt some Welsh.

He was crowned the Prince of Wales and gave a speech, in Welsh, but the ceremony was controversial, coming at a time of heightened nationalistic sentiment in Wales.

However more than 50 years on, polling by Beaufort Research for WalesOnline has found the Welsh people would mostly welcome a similar ceremony for William when Charles is king.

Researchers carried out some 1,000 interviews across the country, asking: "When Prince Charles becomes King, would you like to see Prince William made the Prince of Wales at a public ceremony known as an investiture?"

More than half, 61%, of people said yes overall, while 26% said no and 13% did not know.

BARRY, WALES - AUGUST 05:  Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge warch children play a grab a teddy game at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey was filmed, during their visit to Barry Island, South Wales, to speak to local business owners about the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector on August 5, 2020 in Barry, Wales. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
William and Kate at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, where Gavin and Stacey was filmed, during their visit to Barry Island, South Wales in August 2020. (Ben Birchall - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Support was higher in North Wales than Cardiff, in the South, with 66% of those in the north supporting it compared to 57% in Cardiff and south east Wales. 

Younger people were less likely to support it, with 39% for it, and 38% against in the 16-24-year-old group.

Of those aged over 65, 66% wanted an investiture, but 22% didn’t. 

Fluent Welsh speakers were slightly less likely to support the investiture, at 60%, and 31% against.

Non-Welsh speakers were 63% in favour and 23% against.

Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies told the paper the poll showed "how out of touch" republicans and nationalists were with the nation.

Millions of people watched Charles's investiture in 1969 as it was televised, but there was a minority of nationalist opposition. Two members of one group, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru, attempted a bombing but were themselves killed outside the government offices in Abergele.

There is no guarantee William will be the Prince of Wales when Charles accedes the throne. The title merges with the crown and so Charles would have to recreate it and give it to his son.

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William will definitely inherit the Duchy of Cornwall however, as Charles will become the Duke of Lancaster, so the prince is guaranteed one new title.

The Duchy of Cornwall was created to give an income to the heir to the throne.

William has not had as much of a link with Wales as his father has over the years. He and Kate lived there for a time after their wedding, on Anglesey, but his royal country home in is Norfolk.

He was called William Wales when he was in the RAF and at University.

Polling taken in April found Prince William was favourite with 47% of people to be king ahead of his father when the Queen dies.

Charles, 72, who will become king when his mother dies, was only chosen by 27% of respondents as their preferred option for monarch, according to Deltapoll.

1st July 1969:  Queen Elizabeth II crowns her son Charles, Prince of Wales, during his investiture ceremony at Caernarvon Castle.  (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)
The Queen crowned her son Charles, Prince of Wales, during his investiture ceremony at Caernarvon Castle in 1969. (Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1st July 1969:  The investiture of Charles, Prince of Wales, at Caernarvon Castle.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The ceremony was watched by millions on television. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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Deltapoll asked 1,590 British adults who they would prefer between Charles and William as monarch when the Queen dies, but they also gave the option of no monarch at all.

Nearly a fifth of respondents, 18%, said they did not want a monarchy in Britain.

When people were offered a wider choice of royals to replace the Queen as monarch, William, 38, still came out on top, with 41%.

YouGov polling from the end of May showed that 38% of people thought William should become the next king when Elizabeth II dies.

Meanwhile 34% of respondents said Prince Charles should succeed, as is planned.

Of respondents, 16% thought there should be no monarch, and 12% did not know.

The May polling was a slight rise in popularity for Charles, who had been polling 32% in December, and a slight dip for William, who was favoured as the next king by 40% of people in the same month.

There are no plans for the line of succession to be altered when the Queen dies.

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