"It’s a book which takes its time and really delves into the pivotal moments in Charles’ connection with Wales... We are offered a glimpse at a man who has, over the decades, forged both a more formal support to Wales and a more personal warmth for it." – Emma Schofield, Wales Arts Review
"This is a highly readable and lively book, full of anecdote and character... Thomas needs to be praised for producing a well-written and pacy book on a controversial subject which is neither hatchet job nor fawning tribute." – Myfanwy Alexander, Nation.Cymru
Before Charles became King, he was Prince of Wales. It was a role he took more seriously than any predecessor of the modern British monarchy. From the moment he was created Prince of Wales in 1958 until his accession to the throne, Charles’s approach to the role was to serve Wales and to promote Welsh life. But what impact has he had on the country, and what impression did the Welsh leave on him?
This book examines the relationship that the Prince nurtured with a nation that meant much more to him than an honorary title. Dozens of interviews have helped Huw Thomas to unearth the untold stories of Charles’s work in Wales, alongside the key role he has taken in developing industry, culture and conservation.
For a man who has spent almost a lifetime waiting to be King, Huw Thomas reveals how Wales prepared Charles for the crown.
Despite his initial reluctance to come to Wales as a student, his time spent learning the history and language of the Welsh at Aberystwyth in the 1960s fostered a passionate commitment to the nation. Wales has not always returned the compliment, with popular protests and more subtle snubs to his involvement in Welsh affairs. And yet those who have worked with him, and who call him a friend, cite a remarkable ability to make a difference without making a fuss. As a diplomat he is credited with bringing major employers to south Wales, offering jobs to a workforce that had been decimated by the collapse of the coal industry. As a cultural ambassador he revived royal patronage for the arts in Wales and sponsored the finest performers to emerge from the land of song. And as a champion of the natural environment, he has backed the farmers and conservationists who are nurturing the Welsh countryside, not least by employing traditional crafts to create the first royal home in Wales for 400 years.
Huw Thomas is a journalist whose writing and broadcasting covers the beating heart of Welsh life. Born in Maesteg in the post-industrial south Wales valleys, for the best part of twenty years he has reported on the people and places of Wales. He began in local radio, before joining the BBC after a brief stint producing business news for Bloomberg. His work has taken him around Wales and the UK, covering key events from the Queen’s Jubilee to the Olympic Games, and the Hay Festival to the National Eisteddfod. Stories have also lured him abroad, allowing him to interview the descendants of Welsh settlers in Patagonia and Bonnie Tyler at the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. Huw is an accomplished TV correspondent, having covered the darkest days of the Covid-19 pandemic, while his presenting skills have seen him front programmes for BBC Wales and network radio.
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