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King Charles III will be greeted with cannon fire as he sets foot on Welsh soil for the first time today as monarch and Cardiff welcomes the former Prince of Wales – the longest serving in history.
The monarch and queen consort will land by helicopter this morning in the Welsh capital from Highgrove, where Her Majesty’s grieving son has spent the past 24 hours.
Thousands are expected at Llandaff Cathedral and Cardiff Castle to greet the King, who was Prince of Wales for over 53 years and whose mother the Queen will be buried with her wedding ring – made of Welsh gold meaning she’ always carry a piece of Wales’ with you.
But there will also be protests as the royal couple arrive on Owain Glyndwr Day – in honor of the revered and last native Welshman to bear the title of Prince of Wales, who died in hiding from Henry V of England in 1415 after fighting for independence led.
Organizers say a silent demonstration will begin at Cardiff Castle at 1 p.m. but Prime Minister Mark Drakeford believes the visit will not be disrupted and claims it will be a ‘footnote’ to the main proceedings.
He said: ‘People have a legitimate right to protest and there are different views’.
King Charles III will be greeted with cannon fire as he sets foot on Welsh soil for the first time as monarch today when he comes to Cardiff. Prime Minister Mark Drakeford says the protests won’t ruin the event
A series of police officers have just arrived in Llandaff. The cathedral is today the first stop on the royal couple’s tour of Cardiff.
People wait outside Llandaff Cathedral for the National Service of Prayer and Reflection of Wales for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth
However, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that this was not the week for such concerns and debate to surface.
“But people have that right and I think it will be exercised with restraint and it will be a footnote to the dominant sentiments of the day.”
Mr Drakeford also stressed that he trusted the police to deal with protests in a ‘proportionate’ way, amid questions about dealing with protesters in other parts of the UK.
“It has to be proportional. It must recognize the rights that people have.
“I have every confidence in the South Wales Police who have dealt with events like this very successfully on many occasions.”
The Welsh First Minister indicated that he did not expect the new Prince of Wales to follow in his father’s footsteps and learn Welsh.
Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that ‘no one will expect miracles’ from Prince William about the language, admitting it can be a ‘challenge’ to learn as an adult.
‘The language is a very important part of Wales and is spoken by thousands of people every day as part of their daily lives. It’s not necessarily the easiest language to learn later.
“The soon-to-be Prince of Wales will want to recognize the importance of the Welsh language and the role it plays in shaping the identity of a modern-day Wales.”
He said the Welsh people would understand and “appreciate” any interest in the prince’s language show.
“I don’t think anyone would expect someone to suddenly be fluent in the Welsh language.”
“No one will expect miracles.”
Mark Drakeford said he has spoken with the new Prince of Wales but has not discussed the inauguration procedure directly.
However, he seemed to strongly suggest that the investiture did not have to follow the pattern established by the ceremony in which Charles was named Prince of Wales in 1969.
‘The Wales of 2022 is very different from the Wales of 1969.
“I don’t think if you look back on that event and see it as some kind of pattern that you would want to pick up and copy, I don’t think that’s the right way to go about things.
“I think the new Prince of Wales will want to take the time to settle into that role, to find out where he can most contribute to creating a successful Wales of the future.”
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Speaking to Prince William, Mr Drakeford said: ‘He did tell me that he wanted to take on his new responsibilities slowly, that he wanted to give time to his own knowledge of Wales, the things that matter in Wales’ today, so that he could think about where his own contribution could be most powerfully made. And I thought that was a very sensible approach.’
The Welsh Prime Minister said he did not think Friday’s proceedings would provide an opportunity to meet the new Prime Minister.
Mark Drakeford told Sky News: “I think that opportunity is unlikely to materialize.
“As you can imagine, these occasions are worked out very carefully in advance and every moment is taken into account.
The new Prime Minister is Llandaff today. I doubt it will be an opportunity to meet her for the first time.’
Cardiff Castle is one of three locations Charles will visit on his full-day tour of the capital, meeting charities and faith leaders after a private audience with Prime Minister Mark Drakeford.
Those attending the rally are expected to hold signs with slogans such as ‘Why a monarchy?’ and ‘True Democracy Now’.
Campaigners say they want the Welsh public to wonder if a future without the monarchy is possible.
They have called on the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council to ask South Wales Police to respect their democratic right to protest, following the arrests and threats of people holding ‘Not my King’ signs in other towns. to hold.
Activist and former Senedd member for Plaid Cymru Bethan Sayed said: “As soon as King Charles III decided to announce that Prince William would become Prince of Wales, so soon after the Queen’s death, many of us felt compelled to react.
“We need to talk about the future of Wales and what we want it to look like.
“People are telling us that this is not the time to discuss this issue, but when the monarchy moves from the incumbent to a new king, now is exactly the time to discuss this issue.
“It’s about fairness, equality and the Wales we want to shape for future generations.”
Speaking to PA, Ms Sayed added: ‘It is still a difficult time and we really appreciate that. We all have relatives who have passed away.
“So we don’t intend to cause any problems, but we want our rights to hold and express a different opinion to be respected.
“Because that’s perfectly legitimate if we actually call ourselves a democracy.”
A number of groups are joining to lead the protest under the banner of Real Democracy Now, including trade unions, Welsh independence organizations and Republicans.
But Ms Sayed said everyone was invited to join, including those who wanted to protest against imperialism.
Adam Johannes, a left-wing campaigner and organizer of recent protests against the cost of living in Cardiff, said: ‘Personally my own mother passed away not too long ago so I have every empathy for a family in their personal grief.
“But when we have these parades, these big public events, in a sense they are political acts.
“And yet one side of the debate is saying ‘now is not the time’, while all sorts of things are being piped in, such as the announcement that Prince William will be the next Prince of Wales.
“So when there are events that are almost PR events for us to ensure support for the monarchy, we think it’s legitimate to make our voices heard as well.”
A Labor representative before an Independent Representative in Wales said: ‘Soon 67% of people in Wales will be fuel deprived, with the royals inheriting millions, tax-free.
“Our democracy has been weakened by their presence and so we are ultimately pushing for an independent, socialist Republic of Wales.”
Union movement Cerith Griffiths said: “Much has changed since Queen Elizabeth was crowned more than 70 years ago.
“It is remarkable that Wales now has its own parliament and can pass legislation that makes a difference to those who live in Wales.
“In 2016, several aspects of the Welsh union law were no longer applied, but now the Westminster government is rejecting the decisions of an elected Welsh government.
“If we really value democracy, then we need to have a debate about the role of the monarchy and whether allowing another country’s government to overturn the democratic decisions taken here in Wales is really appropriate for the 21st century.’
A petition calling for an end to the title of Prince of Wales has garnered more than 25,000 signatures in less than a week.
The leader of the pro-independence party Plaid Cymru, Adam Price, has said there should be a debate on the topic “in due course”.
The party believes that people in an independent Wales should have the right to vote on whether or not to keep a member of the royal family as head of state.
A petition against continuing the Prince of Wales title has now reached 25,000 signatures, just under a week since it was launched.
Pro-independence party Plaid Cymru There will be time for a public debate around the title of the Prince of Wales in due course.