Last Friday, the Prince of Wales traveled to Aberfan to pay his respects on the 144 victims on the 50th anniversary of the disaster. The tragedy claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults. It also destroyed homes and a school. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Aberfan just four days after the horrible event.
The Prince spoke with survivors and met with those who lost loved ones a half century ago. He also read a message of support and remembrance from Her Majesty. Even now, the Queen spoke of this disaster as though it happened just yesterday. She recognised that for many, it still feels this way.
The Prince also laid a wreath with a handwritten tribute in the memorial garden. Come Sunday, though, this Royal tribute was found to have been stolen. The bilingual missive read: “In continuing memory and deepest sympathy.”
As word of the missing tribute spread, so did people’s outrage. Prince Charles arranged for a replacement note to be sent; it arrived on Thursday. By this time however, the tribute’s thief gained a sliver of conscience. They returned the original note to the local police station. There is no word on the identity of the tribute snatcher. And the people of Aberfan may never know who stole it.
David Davies, the Chairman of trustees at the Aberfan Memorial Charity said: “We’re delighted that the original has been returned. We wish it hadn’t been taken in the first place.
“In the meantime, in any event, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales had kindly already made arrangements to provide a second card.”