We know that Wales Week is always a treasured time for Charles and Camilla but this year it took on an extra significance. The Prince of Wales began his annual tour on a date filled with significance. Charles was back in his principality exactly half a century after his investiture with the ancient title reserved, for centuries, for the heir to the throne.
And the anniversary turned out to be a packed one. The prince began Wales Week with a solemn ceremony at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. Prince Charles attended a regimental memorial service at the church for The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. The Regimental Memorial was dedicated during the ceremony and the prince then laid a wreath at it. Charles became Colonel-in-Chief of the The Queen’s Dragoon Guards in 2003.
One of the heir to the throne’s outstanding achievements in the fifty years since his formal investiture has been the Prince’s Trust which has helped millions of young people get their lives back on track since its inception in 1976. On his special anniversary, Charles headed to one of the Trust’s call centres based in Swansea where he met many of the advisors offering support via phone and webchats to the thousands who call every month.
He also met some of those who have been helped by the Trust including Mari Thomas who received help from the organisation over twenty years ago when she decided to set up her own jewellery firm. She presented Charles with a gift crafted herself – a pair of cufflinks engraved with the words of a poem by Waldo Williams called ‘Cofio’, or ‘Remember’, a nod to the anniversary the prince was marking.
And as it was a special day, there was a cake. The Prince of Wales did the honours and cut the confection before struggling to get the first slice free.
From there, it was off into the great outdoors with a trip to Ty’n-y-Coed Forest to meet horse loggers. Charles heard about their work in the area and the efforts being made to promote horse logging as a sustainable option in modern forestry. He’s been patron of the British Horse Loggers since 2004. The royal visitor also handed over the Prince of Wales Trophy to the winner of the Woodland Management Award.
The Duchess of Cornwall will join her husband as day two of Wales Week gets under way. Charles and Camilla will be based at Llwynywermod, their home in Wales, where they will host a special evening of music and drama on the second night of this year’s visit. And no doubt there will be many more reminders of the special anniversary that co-incides with the event, a chance to remember again fifty years of service by the Prince of Wales.