Boneddigion a boneddigesau,
Mr Mayor, Leader of the Council, Chief Executive, Ladies and Gentlemen,
My wife and I are absolutely delighted to be with you in Wrexham today to celebrate your becoming a city.
As you know, city status was granted to eight different communities in order to celebrate my late mother’s Platinum Jubilee. As we now mark this historic occasion, we also look back, with mingled sadness and pride, at that extraordinary reign, during which, as you know, my mother’s great love for Wales was always apparent.
It is thoroughly fitting that we should celebrate the creation of Wales’s newest city in the setting of this magnificent church, which truly deserves its designation as one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. Of course, as no fewer than six of the seven Wonders are in North East Wales, we cannot help but think that whoever wrote that famous anonymous rhyme – Pistyll Rhaeadr and Wrexham steeple, Snowdon’s mountain without its people, Overton yew trees, St. Winifred’s Well, Llangollen’s Bridge and Gresford’s bells – must have been from this part of the world!
A little earlier today, I had the opportunity to see one of the other wonders of Wrexham, namely the football club, which is busy putting Wrexham on the map as never before. And, of course, this comes after the Welsh national team has brought unprecedented international ecognition to Wales through qualifying for the World Cup.
The motto of Welsh football – Gor-au Chwar-ae, Cyd Chwar-ae – sums up the spirit of community, and of joint endeavour, which is so important to Wales, and which, over the years, I have come to know and value more than I can possibly say.
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, as you celebrate your new-found status for this very special part of the world, nothing could give me greater pleasure than to say llongyfarchiadau and to wish you every possible success for the future.