The new Prince of Wales should not be crowned with the lavish ceremony seen in the past, the Welsh first minister has suggested, amid anger over the rushed decision to install him.
Mark Drakeford was kept in the dark before King Charles announced that Prince Williams would follow him in the role – despite there being no precedent for it to happen automatically.
More than 27,000 people have signed a petition demanding the Prince of Wales title is no longer used. It was born out of England’s conquest of Wales in the early 14th century.
The first minister was asked whether the investiture of Prince Williams should take place with the huge pomp and ceremony of 1969, when Charles was crowned in Caernarfon Castle.
The event was marred by bombings by the Welsh paramilitary group Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru, which killed two members of the group and seriously injured a 10-year-old boy.
Mr Drakeford said, of holding a similarly lavish ceremony: “The Wales of 2022 is very different to the Wales of 1969.
“I don’t think looking back at that event and thinking of it as some sort of pattern that you would wish to pick up and copy, I don’t think that would be the right way to go about things.”
The comments came as King Charles travelled to Wales as its monarch, after serving for 64 years as the Prince of Wales, with anti-monarchy protests expected.
The first minister said the visit was not the time for objections to the monarchy “to surface”, adding: “People have a legitimate right to protest and there are a variety of views.
“People have that right and I think it will be exercised with restraint and it will be a footnote to the dominant feelings of the day.”
He expressed confidence that police would deal with protests in a “proportionate” way, after widespread criticism of heavy-handed crackdowns elsewhere in the UK.
“It should recognise the rights that people have. I have every confidence in South Wales Police, who have dealt with this sort of event many times very successfully,” Mr Drakeford said.
King Charles was attending a service at Llandaff Cathedral, then moving on to the Senedd, the Welsh Parliament, and lastly to an event at Cardiff Castle.
His visit was taking place on Owain Glyndŵr Day, a celebration of the life and legacy of the defeated independence leader and the last Welshman to known as the Prince of Wales.
The protest petition reads: “The title remains an insult to Wales and is a symbol of historical oppression.
“The title implies that Wales is still a principality, undermining Wales’ status as a nation and a country. In addition, the title has absolutely no constitutional role for Wales, which is now a devolved country with a national Parliament.
“Neither the Welsh parliament nor the people of Wales were notified, let alone consulted about this controversial decision.”