National Geographic : 1969 Nov
EKTACHROME BY ADAMWOOLFITI )cl.c .s . Brightening up a cloudy day, Princess Anne in blue, Queen Mother Elizabeth in pale green, and Princess Margaret in peach follow Gentlemen at Arms through the castle ward to their places of honor near the royal dais. Mistress of Robes for the Queen Mother, the Duchess of Abercorn, follows. The Welsh took no joy in this public works program; indeed, they remained so rebellious that-so legend says-Edward called together their chiefs and promised them a Welsh-born prince who spoke no word of English. He left the hall and returned bearing on a shield his infant son, born at Caernarvon. Edward II was, indeed, born in or near the castle, but the truth is that his father didn't get around to making him the first English Prince of Wales until the lad was 16. In infancy he had had an older brother, but the brother died. E DWARD was given the title at a meeting of Parliament and probably was invested at the same time, although there is no record of the ceremony. Contrary to popular belief, the title is not automatically acquired at birth by the monarch's first-born son. It must be specifically conferred, and only the monarch can do it. Queen Elizabeth II, for example, named Charles the Prince of Wales in 1958 when he was nearly 10, and at that 704 time she announced he would be invested at Caernarvon when he was grown. Only once before had the castle been the site of this ceremony, and that was in modern times. The handsome youngster who became Edward VIII was invested in 1911. In his memoirs the former king, now Duke of Wind sor, recalls with some bitterness the satin breeches he was required to wear. It is easier to know Welsh history than to know the Welsh. I speak with some license and authority on the subject, since my grand father was Welsh and I have traveled exten sively in Wales. The conquest of that mini-state-in area only a little bigger than New Jersey-occurred more than six and a half centuries ago, and the Welsh and English have had the same rights and citizenship since the incorporation of the principality with England in 1536. That union was ordered by Henry VIII, who had an admixture of blood from Welsh royalty, as does today's Prince Charles.