A celebration of the strong connections between Wales and the British Royal Family.

It's in the jeans

In January 2018, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Dutchess of Sussex (then Ms Meghan Markle) made a visit to Cardiff when they were engaged. Further demonstrating her love of the country, Ms Markle chose to wear a pair of slim black jeans by the Welsh denim brand Hiut Denim.

 

Duke and Dutchess of Sussex walking inside castle.
A woman in front of some crowds.

In January 2018, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Dutchess of Sussex (then Ms Meghan Markle) visited Cardiff Castle

Based in Cardigan, Hiut Denim is a small company founded by husband and wife David and Claire Hieatt. The team make every item by hand, which is no speedy process. After Ms Markle's visit, Hiut Denim had a three month waiting list on orders and had to increase their staff numbers and factory size to keep up with demand. 

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A prince's home

When Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall come to Wales on their annual summer tour, they stay at their Welsh farmhouse residence, Llwynywermod, near the village of Myddfai in Carmarthenshire. The 192-acre smallholding was renovated by skilled Welsh craftsmen and women, using local stone, slate and textiles, and the gardens and grounds are managed under organic principles. When the Prince and Duchess are not there, Llwynywermod transforms into a popular holiday let. 

Image of the interior of Llwynywermod.

Llwynywermod, his Royal Highness The Prince of Wales' Welsh home in Carmarthenshire, West Wales

Golden rings

When Prince William slipped a wedding ring onto Kate Middleton’s finger in 2011, it was a band of pure Welsh gold, following in a tradition founded by The Queen Mother in 1923. Since then, all major royal weddings have been sealed with Welsh gold. You can buy Welsh gold for your own rings. If you want to pop the question to your beloved, why not try one of these romantic ways to do so in Wales?

For the early years of their marriage, William and Kate lived on Anglesey, where the prince worked as a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot. 

Aerial view of Cemlyn Bay, Isle of Anglesey on bright calm day.

Cemlyn Bay, Isle of Anglesey

Edwardian Drives

Edward VII was a passionate golfer, and he granted Royal status to his two favourite golf courses in Wales: Royal Porthcawl and Royal St David’s. The King’s grandson, the future Edward VIII, was also a keen golfer, captaining Royal St David’s in 1934. 

Victoria's royal retainers

Queen Victoria’s knickers were supplied by Sir Pryce Pryce-Jones, who founded the world’s first mail-order company in Newtown, the capital of the Welsh flannel industry. His soft flannel knickers were favoured by many of the crowned heads (and bottoms) of Europe, including the Queen of Norway and the Empress of Russia. Queen Victoria no doubt wore hers on visits to her Welsh estate, Ynyshir, which is now a luxurious country hotel and Michelin star restaurant.

Blick auf Ynyshir, Eglwys Fach, Machynlleth.
Ynyshir es Restaurant Tür mit einem Namensschild.
Ein Kurs der lokalen Küche in Ynyshir.

Ynyshir

Henry Tudor's march to power

Henry Tudor (Harri Tudur in Welsh) was born at Pembroke Castle in 1457 and was a descendant of several Welsh royal houses. During the War of the Roses he fled to Brittany, returning with a small army that landed near Milford Haven. He gathered 5,000 more soldiers on his march through Wales then defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to become Henry VII. The Tudors reigned for the next 120 years.

Despite his Welsh ancestry, his son Henry VIII kept an iron grip on Wales. He passed the 1536 Act of Union which legally incorporated Wales into England. The Act banned Welsh-only speakers from public office, but he didn’t manage to suppress the Welsh language, not even in his own family: his daughter Queen Elizabeth I apparently spoke fluent Welsh!

A large coastal castle with towers.
An aerial shot of a large castle with towers alongside the banks of a pond.

Pembroke Castle

Hard-bitten Henry V

Born in Monmouth Castle in 1386, Henry V spent much of his youth in Wales fighting against the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr. By the time Henry succeeded his father to the throne in 1413, he was a hard-bitten veteran of battle. This helped him to defeat the French at the Battle of Agincourt during the hundred year war, at which Welsh archers played a crucial role.

Llywelyn's last stand

Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was the last prince of an independent Wales before its conquest by Edward I. From his Gwynedd powerbase, he controlled most of Wales until he was killed in 1282 by English soldiers at Cilmeri. There’s a memorial stone there to commemorate Ein Llyw Olaf ('Our Last Leader'), and an annual ceremony is held on the anniversary of his death.

Rebel with a cause

In the early 15th century, Owain Glyndŵr led a spectacular rebellion against the crown that briefly united Wales. He studied law in London and fought for the English king, then retired to his Welsh estates for a more peaceful life. At one point, he was drawn into land disputes with a neighbouring baron, and by 1400 it'd grown into full-scale rebellion. His supporters proclaimed him Prince of Wales, and in 1404 Owain held his first Welsh parliament at Machynlleth. It wasn’t to last, but he was never betrayed or captured. He vanished in 1412, and is believed to have lived out his life in Herefordshire.

Owain Glyndŵr Centre sign, with the Owain Glyndŵr flag waving in the background.
Exterior of Owain Glyndwr Centre.

Owain Glyndwr Centre, Machynlleth, Mid Wales

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