King addresses Senedd in Welsh and English
King Charles III spoke Welsh and English when he first addressed the Senedd as sovereign.
Charles, who learned Welsh at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth in 1969, addressed Members of the Welsh Parliament at a commemorative event at the Senedd, as part of the King and Queen Consort’s tour of the British nations.
Speaking bilingual, the King said his mother, the Queen, was immensely proud of Wales and devoted to the country.
“I take on my new duties with immense gratitude for the privilege of having been able to serve as Prince of Wales,” he said.
“This ancient title from the time of such great Welsh rulers as Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, whose memory is still rightly honoured, I now pass on to my son William, whose love for this corner of the earth is d so much greater than the years he himself has spent here.
Arrived at the Senedd, Charles and Camilla were received by the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan, Morfudd Meredith, Llywydd Elin Jones and Prime Minister Mark Drakeford.
Hundreds of people, including schoolchildren, waited outside waving Welsh flags and chanting “We want the king!” before their arrival.
After entering the building, the King and Queen consort were greeted by a fanfare of trumpeters from The Royal Welsh.
Harpists also played as the couple crossed the Senedd to the Siambr – the Hall of Debates.
The royal party was welcomed by the Mace Bearer, Shahzad Khan and the Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary Tom Lloyd, who led the party to Siambr.
Speaking to the Senedd, the Llywydd said the Queen’s last visit was just 11 months ago when the sixth Senedd was officially opened.
“The Queen was in great shape that day. Many members shared their stories of the visit when we met to pay their respects to the Queen and discussed our motion of condolence at the Senedd on Sunday,” Ms Jones said.
“The stories and tributes from members to the Queen when we came together on Sunday were warm and witty.
“As you can imagine, there have been many mentions of corgis – his constant and longtime Welsh companions.
“And of course the members here representing Pembrokeshire were particularly keen to defend his preference for the Pembrokeshire corgi.
“And the MP for Ceredigion, me, was quiet, and very slightly jealous, of the queen’s choice of the Pembrokeshire corgi over the Cardiganshire corgi.”
She added: “I sincerely hope that the modern relationship between this Senedd, this country and the Royal Family will be rooted in respect and sustained by understanding.
“And as we remember today the Queen’s enduring commitment to our parliament, we also look forward to the King’s future association with the Senedd and our work on behalf of the people of Wales.”
Before leaving, Charles and Camilla met members of the Senedd before Osian Powell, 11, of Ysgol Gymraeg Hamadryad in Butetown, presented a bouquet to the Queen Consort.
When the couple left the building to meet people outside, Welsh nationalist protesters booed, holding signs bearing Owain Glyndwr’s name.
Their mockery was quickly drowned out by people singing God Save The King.
Speaking afterwards, Osian, who was accompanied by his mother Jess Huckson, said the Lord Lieutenant of South Glamorgan had calmed his nerves before meeting the royal couple.
“It was really exciting and worth the wait,” he said.
“I just said ‘Hi’ and the king said ‘Hi’ and said he hoped I got along well in life.”
Osian said it was nerve-wracking but he would remember the moment for a long time – having feared he was in trouble when he found out he had been chosen to present the bouquet.
“My teacher told me the principal wanted to see me and I went there thinking I was in trouble,” he said.
“She asked me if I wanted to give the bouquet to the queen.”