Sunday, July 14, 2024

King speaks Welsh in the Senedd on its 25th birthday

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By Paul PigottBBC News

PA Media King Charles walking in the senedd foyer chatting with Elin Jones presiding officer, with Queen Camilla and First Minister Vaughan Gething walking behind them PA Media

King Charles III and Queen Camilla visited Wales on Thursday to mark 25 years of the Senedd

King Charles III has marked 25 years of the Welsh Parliament by addressing members of the Senedd in Welsh.

The King and Queen Camilla also met First Minister Vaughan Gething and other party and parliamentary leaders in Wales on Thursday.

The Royal Welsh put on a guard of honour for the royal pair, who were greeted by primary school children from across Wales.

It was the King’s first visit to the Senedd since his tour of the UK following his accession.

His opening remarks to the chamber were in Welsh, thanking presiding officer Elin Jones.

“The Queen and I are so delighted to join you today as we mark this significant milestone in our history – the 25th anniversary of Welsh devolution,” he continued in English.

“During times which have seen great change, profound sorrow and tremendous achieving – through it, my respect and affection for the people of this ancient land have deepened with every passing year.”

King Charles speaks Welsh at Senedd

He used both Welsh and English to speak about his affection for “this ancient land” and how it was a privilege to share in the occasion.

He said the Senedd’s 25th anniversary was a milestone in a journey Wales had been on for all of his life.

It had given Wales ” a distinct voice”, delivered with “clarity and purpose”, he added.

King mingling with crowd of school children

The King mingled with schoolchildren from across Wales after the ceremony

Mared Pugh-Evans gave her first performance as the King’s new harpist, while primary school pupils from Ysgol Treganna in Cardiff sang Safwn yn y Bwlch.

The Royal couple then made their way through the Senedd, with Vaughan Gething chatting to Queen Camilla, and the King chatting to Ms Jones.

They also met with Senedd staff, including members who have worked in the there for 25 years.

The King and Queen then spent a few minutes speaking with the crowd gathered on the Senedd steps, mainly with a group of schoolchildren.

Among those in the crowd was Alessandro Migliorati and his daughter Isabella, who describes herself as an ardent royalist.

Alessandro Migliorati came down to the Bay with his daughter Isabella

Alessandro Migliorati and his daughter Isabella

She has seen the King a few times already this year – including at the D Day commemorations in Normandy.

Today she got to see the King and Queen up close, describing it as “really nice to see”.

“I love the history of it,” she said.

The military band arrive along with soldiers for the guard of honour.

A posy was presented to the Queen by 10-year-old Celyn Matthews Williams, a Covid community champion.

Pantasia Steel Pans were played as the royal couple exited the Senedd.

There were a few protesters outside, but most people were cheering and waving flags.

In his last visit to Senedd, the King – formerly the Prince of Wales for 64 years – gave his first address in Welsh as Monarch.

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