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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Foot in the door

This morning's news on Radio Wales reports that Prince William is to become a royal vice-patron of the Welsh Rugby Union - cue lots of gushing tributes and assertions that this will be good for Welsh rugby, attract more young people etc etc.

Personally, I have nothing against Prince William. He seems a very likeable lad and no doubt will do well if he decides to stand for election to become head of state in the new Republic of the United Kingdom. There are some issues around this appointment that need to be considered however.

The first is whether he will now tell his brother that it is bad form to go to the Rugby World Cup as a representative of the Monarch of Great Britain and then wear an England Rugby shirt to a quarter final game against Wales? To be fair this is not a faux pas that can be attributed to William, but it does give an insight into the mindset of the Royal family.

The second far more substantive point is that already people are talking about this appointment as a prelude to William's assumption of the title of Prince of Wales. No doubt he was advised to accept the role on this basis.

I am not one of those people who are opposed to this title on the basis that it is an obstacle to an independent Wales, far from it. However, Wales is a very different place to what it was when Edward I created the role as a means of both appeasing and subduing the Welsh. There is also a very different political climate to the one on 1 July 1969 when Prince Charles was invested in this role.

We now have a democratically elected National Assembly, which is shortly to assume more powers and a greater role in Welsh life. The question has to be asked therefore if it is appropriate for a new Prince of Wales to be created and if so what his role should be. That debate must be had publicly before any assumptions or decisions are made about William.

In the meantime I hope that the Prince enjoys the rugby and that he turns up to our Grand Slam decider with England at the Millennium Stadium on 17 March 2007 wearing a Welsh rugby shirt.
I was listening to this on Radio Wales this morning as well and was dissapointed. They went on to talk about how lucky they were to continue the traditions as his grandmother is also a patron or whatever. Could she name a single Welsh player?

Do the WRU know or care that a significant percentage of the Welsh population have very strong feelings towards the English royal family. The fact that Mrs Windsor (can I say that on this blog?) was made a patron years ago is something that we let go as a folly of a by-gone era, this decission should have been discussed openly first.

Another PR blunder by the WRU.

I hope the question about William being made Prince of Wales is one I hope we'll never have to answer, but I bet there are a few royalists at the Assembly who'd love it. Grrr
Aren't there enough problems in Welsh rugby as it is - this is all we need!
the English royal family

Erm no. It's the Scottish Royal Family who inherited the throne of England from a Welsh family.
There are one or two events that you have missed out there Tim, such as for example the handing over of the throne to William of Orange (Dutch I believe) and then the Hanoverian succession that led to the present Royal Family. Given that there is still somebody out there who can trace his lineage back to the Stuarts and claims to be the true King then I am not so sure that the Scottish side is that prevalent nowadays.
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