Heritage

A Look Back at Prince Charles's Investiture as the Prince of Wales, 50 Years Later

Prince Charles is currently the longest serving Prince of Wales in history, and this ceremony is sure to be one of The Crown's upcoming storylines.
IMAGE ANWAR HUSSEIN / GETTY IMAGES
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  • This year marks the 50th anniversary of Prince Charles's investiture as the Prince of Wales, which the Queen will mark with a reception at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.
  • He is the longest-serving Prince of Wales in British history, which means no heir has waited longer to become the monarch.

Prince Charles has now officially been the Prince of Wales for half a century. He received the title, which is traditionally given to the eldest son of the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, in 1968 via letters patent, but his formal investiture would not take place until the follow year.

On Tuesday, the Queen will host a reception for her son at Buckingham Palace in celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the ceremony. Several members of the royal family are expected to attend including Princess Anne, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

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Ahead of this week's formal event, we're looking back at Prince Charles's investiture.

THE INVESTITURE TOOK PLACE ON JULY 1, 1969 AT CAERNARFON CASTLE IN WALES.


The centuries-old custom involved the Secretary of State of Wales reading the Letters Patent in Welsh, while the Queen bestowed upon Charles five pieces of insignia: a sword, coronet, ring, the gold rod, and the kingly mantle.

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Charles then took an oath:

"I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth I will bear unto thee to live and die against all manner of folks."

Once he finished, the public greeted him with resounding applause.

PRINCE CHARLES CALLED IT A "VERY IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY."

During an interview, which appears to have been happened shortly after his investiture, Prince Charles reflected on the event:

"Well I feel that it is a very impressive ceremony. I know perhaps some people would think it is rather anachronistic and out of place in this world, which is perhaps somewhat cynical, but I think it can mean quite a lot if one goes about it in the right way; I think it can have some form of symbolism," he said.

I think the British on the whole tend to do these sorts of ceremonies rather well.

"For me, it’s a way of officially dedicating one’s life or part of one’s life to Wales, and the Welsh people after all wanted it, and I think also the British on the whole tend to do these sorts of ceremonies rather well, and for this reason, it’s done well, in fact, and I think it’s been very impressive, and I hope other people thought so as well."

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Watch the full video here:

THE QUEEN MOTHER, PRINCESS ANNE, AND PRINCESS MARGARET WERE ALL IN ATTENDANCE.


Princes Edward and Andrew did not go to the ceremony, likely because they were still quite young. 

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IT'S A SCENE THAT WILL LIKELY APPEAR IN SEASON THREE OF THE CROWN, THE NETFLIX SERIES ABOUT QUEEN ELIZABETH'S REIGN.


A photo from set suggests that the ceremony will take place this season, as they appear to be recreating this scene of the Queen, played by newly minted Oscar-winner Olivia Colman, and her son Charles, played by Josh O’Connor:


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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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