China / World

Charles reaches royal milestone

(China Daily) Updated: 2017-09-11 08:55

LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II is already the longest serving monarch in British history, and this weekend her son Prince Charles reached another milestone for the royal family.

The heir to the British throne is now the longest serving Prince of Wales since the post was established in 1301.

The milestone passed without any pomp and ceremony, in the same way Queen Elizabeth marked her achievement with an ordinary working day.

The title Prince of Wales is traditionally granted by a reigning monarch to his or her eldest son.

Prince Charles has now overtaken King Edward VII who served as Prince of Wales for over 59 years before becoming king on the death of his mother Queen Victoria in 1901.

On Saturday, Prince Charles took the title from his great great uncle when his record reached 59 years, one month and 15 days. The eldest son of Queen Victoria had only been 1 month old when he was named as Prince of Wales.

Charles will keep the title until he succeeds his mother as monarch, and if the tradition continues, the title would then go to his oldest son Prince William, currently second in line to the British throne.

Queen Elizabeth gave the title to her son on July 26, 1958, but his coronation was not held until July 1969. In a televised ceremony at Caernarfon Castle in North Wales, the monarch invested her son with the title amid pomp and ceremony.

The ceremony went ahead despite an attempted plot on the eve of the event when two Welsh nationalists were killed while placing a bomb outside government offices in the North Wales town of Abergele. A "Free Wales" movement was active at the time, with supporters opposed to an "English" Prince of Wales.

Historians and academic still engage in lively debates about the title.

Doctor Martin Johnes from Swansea University acknowledged Charles' role in Wales had at times been controversial.

He said: "Charles has not always had the easiest relationship with Wales. His investiture in 1969 was very controversial and was targeted by a bombing operation. It (the investiture) was felt to be a symbol of the oppression and conquest of Wales.

"Charles is very much a British figure rather than a Welsh one."

Celebrated Welsh writer and historian, Professor Peter Stead, told local media the prince has faced both frustration and achievement over the decades, adding he thinks Wales should delight in its "rather eccentric" prince.

"Charles, I believe, is ideally suited to the task of helping us to break out of the boxlike rigidity that can overtake the politics of a small nation," said Stead.


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