On my mind
MANY people in Wales were asking how we should commemorate the 50th anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales. My suggestion of a shuffle dancing remix of Dafydd Iwan’s iconic ‘Carlo’ didn’t go down a bomb, unlike the one which exploded in protest at the dam which created the Llyn Celyn reservoir in the 1960s. The village of Capel Celyn drowned to assuage the thirst of Liverpool.
In Iwan’s song Carlo’s Mum answered the door of Buckingham Palace to a disappointed Dafydd with the words: “Carlo’s playing polo today …. with Daddy” and all are encouraged to ‘Join in the song, peoples old and young; Finally we have a “Prince” in the land of song’.
Yet young Carlo’s investiture did not evoke such conviviality for all. The Caernarfon ceremony, although drenched in royal medieval history, proved to be a spectacular PR exercise increasing the visibility of the monarchy. The provocative location was the castle built by Edward I - the English king who had killed the last Welsh Sovereign Prince of Wales in the 13th Century.
Yet on the auspicious day the trial was ending in Swansea of Carmarthen born Dennis Coslett, a commandant in the Free Wales Army. He had faced eight charges under the Public Order Act and was sentenced to 15 months in prison for doing little more than parading around the Welsh countryside with a shotgun. Coslett, deemed a threat to the establishment, died a rebel and a poet in a Llanelli hospital, aged 64.
Violence, or the threat of it, will never solve the problem of an intruding ‘prince’, but one whose privileged status is purely hereditary and whose private estate is worth more than one billion pounds cannot expect deference while austerity and job losses in Wales continue to cause misery.