● Ed­mund Bai­ley with HRH Princess Anne in 2015

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

A FARMER has been ap­pointed Con­sta­ble of Caernar­fon Cas­tle by the Queen.

Ed­mund Bai­ley, who has been the Lord Lieu­tenant of Gwynedd since 2014, will suc­ceed the late Lord Snow­don.

A farmer with busi­ness in­ter­ests in tourism and re­new­able en­ergy, he has pre­vi­ously served as pres­i­dent of NFU Cymru, as a mem­ber of the Lord Chan­cel­lor’s Agri­cul­tural Land Tri­bunal and as High Sher­iff of Gwynedd.

He lives in Llanbedr and farms on his fam­ily’s ex­ten­sive hold­ing in South Snow­do­nia.

A wid­ower, whose late wife Helen died in 2010, he has two chil­dren, char­tered sur­veyor Ed Bai­ley and Har­lech nurse Sarah Matthews.

In what is largely a cer­e­mo­nial role, Mr Bai­ley will be ex­pected to wel­come mem­bers of the royal fam­ily and other VIP guests dur­ing vis­its to the cas­tle.

He said: “It’s a tremen­dous hon­our to be given this op­por­tu­nity and one that I never ex­pected.

“I was asked if I’d be will­ing to let my name go for­ward and I thought lit­tle more of it un­til I heard that I had been ac­cepted.

“Over re­cent years I’ve done a lot of work in Caernar­fon as part of my High Sher­iff du­ties, which has al­lowed me to fully ap­pre­ci­ate what a splen­did town it is.”

Mr Bai­ley’s dad, Ed­die, left school at 13 and later bought a farm near Manch­ester, but was forced to sell it soon af­ter at a loss when it was com­pul­so­rily pur­chased. He then went on to rent Gors y Gedol at Llanbedr, near Har­lech.

Three years later Ed­mund was born and, in 1962, the fam­ily bought the farm out­right.

Ed­die died in late 2008 but his legacy lives on: a 2,800-acre hill unit, farmed as a sin­gle unit, which ac­com­mo­dates 2,000 Welsh Moun­tain ewes and 100 suck­lers, mostly Welsh Black.

Mr Bai­ley’s pre­de­ces­sor, Lord Snow­don, born Antony Arm­strong-Jones, was a celebrity photographer and for­mer hus­band of Princess Mar­garet.

He was laid to rest in a se­cluded spot over­look­ing the Me­nai Strait in Llanfaglan near Caernar­fon in Jan­uary of last year.

The Eton-ed­u­cated photographer took por­traits of the most fa­mous faces of the 20th Cen­tury, from Diana, Princess of Wales to Jack Ni­chol­son and El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor, in a ca­reer that lasted more than six decades.

But it was his mar­riage to the Queen’s sis­ter Princess Mar­garet in 1960, a union that ended in di­vorce 18 years later, for which he is re­mem­bered.

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