Why the Prince of Wales has no plans for a lavish investiture ceremony to mark his new title

After a year of lavish ceremonies, the Platinum Jubilee and the grand pageantry of the Queen’s funeral, it is unlikely the Prince of Wales will have a grand investiture ceremony like his father King Charles had more than 50 years ago.

The Duke of Cambridge was made Prince of Wales after the death of the Queen on September 8.

Similar to a coronation, for the best part of the past 800 years the new title has been traditionally marked in an elaborate ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle in Wales.

It’s steeped in ceremony and recognition of the heir to the throne, where the monarch presents the symbols associated with the title – the sword, the coronet, a ring, rod and mantle.

But, with the English pound hitting record lows amid a looming economic crisis, it seems increasingly apparent the Prince of Wales is preparing to ditch royal tradition.

A royal source told London’s Mirror newspaper there are “no plans for any kind of an investiture like the Prince’s father had”.

“Right now the Prince and Princess of Wales are focussed on deepening the trust and respect of the people of Wales over time,” it wrote.

‘Pomp and pageantry’

Archival footage shows the ceremony for the then Prince Charles in July, 1969, where the Prince of Wales was presented and invested with the insignia of his rank.

At the time, the BBC “brought all the pomp and pageantry to viewers and listeners in one of the biggest and most complex outside broadcasts since the coronation”.

The UK government’s national archives chronicled that “the investiture took place at a time of rapid social change during the 1960s, and a growing Welsh nationalist movement”.

“Nonetheless, the investiture was largely welcomed by people in Wales,” the record shows.

Watched by an audience of 500 million around the world, the Queen presented her son as he knelt before a crowd of thousands inside the medieval castle walls.

The Secretary of State of Wales read the Letters Patent in Welsh, the Queen crowned him, kissed him and a white fur coat was draped around his shoulders.

He pledged allegiance to his mother with the words: “I, Charles, Prince of Wales do become your liege man of life and limb”.

There were 2500 officers serving across the three Armed Forces (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force), a Royal Air Force flypast of 24 planes and a four-day tour of Wales.

Fast forward to September 9, 2022, and the King announced his son’s new title.

“Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru, the country whose title I have been so greatly privileged to bear during so much of my life and duty.

“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the centre ground where vital help can be given.”

The Prince of Wales outside St Thomas Church, which has been redeveloped to provide support to vulnerable people, during a visit to Wales in September. Photo: Getty

‘Not a Prince of Wales in the mould of his father’

The Prince and Princess of Wales have visited Wales for the first time since taking up their titles, after promising to do after the death of the Queen.

The pair’s last official visit to Wales was as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Cardiff Castle in June, where rehearsals for the Platinum Jubilee concert took place.

Wales was the place Prince William’s parents brought him when he was eight years old, and his first royal engagement was in Cardiff with his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

As newlyweds, they lived in Wales when the Prince worked as a search and rescue pilot, and Anglesey was Prince George’s first home.

Over the past few days, the royal couple, both 40, have taken to the streets to meet Welsh families and are expected to be regular visitors up to Christmas.

Reverend Steve Bunting, who hosted the couple at St Thomas’s Church in Swansea – home to a food bank and baby supply hub for families in need – revealed the Prince was learning the ancient national language.

“He talked about learning Welsh and shared some Welsh phrases he’s trying to do,” Reverend Bunting told People, revealing that the prince was practising the phrases “paned” (a cup, such as of tea) and “bara brith” (traditional Welsh tea bread).

“Now that he is the heir to the throne, the burden of royal duty will play an ever-larger role in his life. While William will undoubtedly embrace it, he will not be a Prince of Wales in the mould of his father,” wrote The Times.

On October 4, the Prince will speak at the United for Wildlife Global Summit at the Science Museum in London, where he intends to highlight illegal wildlife crime and its damaging impact on global biodiversity and local communities.

“For all that he loves and admires Charles, and shares many of the same interests, he is unlikely to fire off letters to government ministers outlining his views,” wrote The Times.

“Instead, he has always taken his grandmother as a role model, following her example of modesty and discretion.

“Even on issues he cares about, such as conservation, he believes that firm but gentle persuasion is the way forward.

“The 22nd Prince of Wales will be his own man.”

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