The King has had a long and enduring relationship with Wales, having previously held the role of the longest serving Prince of Wales in history.
Upon his mother Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession, the young Prince Charles became The Prince of Wales at the age of nine. On 1st July 1969, His Royal Highness (as he was then) was formally invested as The Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle.
Prior to his Investiture, Prince Charles, who was at Cambridge University at the time, spent a term at Aberystwyth University learning Welsh, and still often uses Welsh phrases in speeches in Wales.
In addition to attending important national occasions in Wales, such as the opening of the National Assembly, The NATO Summit and the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, The then Prince of Wales, alongside The then Duchess of Cornwall visited Wales every summer for a concentrated week of engagements, known as Wales Week.
This saw Their Majesties visit both rural and urban projects, often linked to their associated charities and patronages.
The King’s former charities remain very active in Wales: more than 3,000 of the most disadvantaged young people in Wales are supported by The Prince’s Trust each year; PRIME Cymru has helped thousands of people aged over 50 to start their own business, while Business in the Community Cymru has 300 businesses of all sizes engaged across Wales and has raised millions of pounds of in kind support for hundreds of community projects.
The King, as The Prince of Wales, became Patron of a number of Welsh charities and organisations such as The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; Ty Hafan: the children’s hospice in Wales; the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen; the University of Wales Trinity St David; and the Welsh National Opera.
In 2000, The King (when he was The Prince of Wales) revived the tradition of having an official harpist in order to foster Welsh talent on the harp, the national instrument of Wales.
Since her marriage to The King in 2005, The Queen has visited Wales every year, undertaking engagements across the country, including joining a Royal Voluntary Service Lunch Club in Llandovery; attending performances by the Carmarthen & District Youth Opera; opening the new Maggie’s Cancer Centres in Cardiff and Swansea; visiting to the New Pathways Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Support Services; sampling local produce at Llanerch Vineyard; and meeting children, staff and volunteers (and pigs and therapy horses) at Jamie’s Farm in Monmouthshire.
In 2022, when she was Duchess of Cornwall, The Queen officially opened the brand-new library at Millbrook Primary School in Newport. The library was created as part of the National Literacy Trust’s 'Birthday Books' scheme to mark Her Majesty’s 75th birthday, and aimed to give 25,000 children from 75 primary schools a wellbeing-themed mini library in disadvantaged areas across the UK.