fifty years ago July 2, 1969 Archives

From the Archives (July 2, 1969): Charles crowned Prince of Wales

Queen Elizabeth to-day [July 1] placed a gold coronet on the head of her eldest son, Prince Charles, formally appointing him Prince of Wales and heir to the throne. The moment was the high point in an ornate ceremony by which the Queen presented the 20-year-old Charles to the 2,800,000 people of Wales as their own Prince – and as the future monarch of over 850 million subjects in Britain and the Commonwealth. Before an illustrious gathering of 4,000 in medieval Caernarvon Castle, and an estimated television audience of 500 million, the crowned Prince knelt and placed his hands between those of the Queen, clad in dazzling yellow. The Queen also placed a golden ring on her son’s finger symbolising unity with Wales, handed him a golden rod, symbolising temporal power, and then wrapped an ermine cape round his shoulders, buttoning it in motherly fashion. After crowning him, the Queen and Prince exchanged the kiss of fealty – a tradition dating back to the middle ages to symbolise the recognition of loyalty.

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