The BBC broadcasted the Investiture of the 21st Prince of Wales to viewers within the UK, and throughout the world; including the countries of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Europe (9 countries), Japan, United States, & New Zealand. (BBC Broadcast, Prince Charles Investiture, July 1st 1969)
- Prince Charles & the Royal family travelled on the British Royal Train and arrived at the special platform built at Griffith’s Crossing at 2pm.
- Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvonshire (Sir Michael Duff), Sheriff (Evan Wynne Jones), & the Secretary of State for Wales (Rt. Hon. George Thomas) went onboard the Royal train to greet Prince Charles & the other Royal family members.
- The less senior Royals traveled by cars to the Caernarfon Castle.
- Prince Charles travelled with Rt. Hon. George Thomas (Secretary of State for Wales) & David Checketts (Equerry) along roads lined with troops & spectators to Caernarfon Castle. They rode in an open carriage escorted by The Household Calvary for the Prince’s Procession. As they departed the train station the National Anthem was played.
- HM Queen Elizabeth inspected the Guard of Honour of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers
- The Queen’s Procession was comprised of 2 carriages: HM Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip & Princess Anne rode in the first carriage. While Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother &Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon rode in the second carriage.
- Prince Charles was greeted at the entrance of Caernarfon Castle by the Mayor of Caernarfon, Town Clerk, Deputy Constable of the castle, Constable of the castle (Lord Snowdon), & the Minister of Public Building & Works. When Prince Charles entered the castle grounds his Royal Standard was raised. The choir sung ‘God Bless the Prince of Wales’ as he was escorted by the regalia bearers to the Chamberlain Tower, to await the arrival of the Queen.
- When the Queen reached the Watergate of Caernarfon Castle she participated in the Ceremony of Admission. She was received at the foot of the steps of the Castle by the Mayor & the Deputy Constable. The Equerry –in- waiting knocked on the door & demanded admission in the name of the Queen. The Constable of the Castle (Lord Snowdon) descended the steps carrying the key (symbolized his right to maintain the security of the castle). The Queen leaves her carriage & touches the key returning it back to the Constable’s keeping.
- The Queen & Prince Philip were escorted to the dais by the Earl Marshal (Duke of Norfolk, Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard), Earl of Snowdon, the Lord Chamberlain (Cameron Cobbold, 1st Baron Cobbold) & the Gentleman Usher, who carried the Great Sword of State.
- The Investiture would take place on the dais where three thrones were arranged for the Queen, Prince Philip & Princes Charles.
- Once the song ended at exactly 3:00pm the ceremony begun.
- The Queen commanded the Earl Marshal (Duke of Norfolk, Bernard Marmaduke Fitzalan-Howard) to direct the Garter King of Arms (Sir Anthony Wagner) to summon HRH the Prince of Wales.
- Sir Anthony Wagner walked to the Chamberlain Tower & conveyed the Queen’s message to Prince Charles.
- The Prince’s Procession walks to the dais. The procession is headed by the Wales Herald of Arms Extraordinary (Major Francis Jones) on the right and the Chester Herald of Arms (Sir Walter John George Verco) on the left. Behind them walked Rt. Hon. George Thomas (Secretary of State for Wales) and behind him walked Sir Anthony Wagner, who carried the 1958 Letters Patent. Prince Charles (bare headed) walked behind Sir Anthony Wagner. Two Lords walked behind the Prince. Behind them walked 3rd Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor (Owen Lloyd George) who carried the sword and 1st Baron Ogmore (David Rees-Williams) carried the coronet. The gold rod was carried by Baron Heycock (Llewellyn Heycock). Baron Maelor of Rhos (Thomas William Jones) carried the ring and the mantle was carried by the 5th Baron Harlech (Hon. Sir. William David Ormsby-Gore).
- Sir Anthony Wagner (Garter King of Arms) delivers the Letters Patent to the Lord Chamberlain, who then presents them to the Queen. The Queen then hands the English text of the Letters Patent to the Home Secretary (Rt. Hon. Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff) and the Welsh text of the Letters Patent to the Secretary of State (Rt. Hon. George Thomas).
- Prince Charles knelt.
- The Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Leonard James Callaghan reads the English text of the Letters Patent to the crowd.
- The Secretary of State for Wales, the Rt. Hon. George Thomas read the Welsh text Letters Patent to the crowd.
- As the Rt. Hon. George Thomas reads the text, the Queen invests Prince Charles with the sword; creating him the Earl of Chester.
- The Queen then crowns Charles with his coronet.
- A gold ring is placed on the little (pinky) finger of Prince Charles’ left hand by the Queen.
- The Queen then places the gold rod in Charles’ right hand.
- The mantle is then placed & secured on Prince Charles by the Queen.
- Once the Rt. Hon George Thomas completed his reading, the Queen takes the gold rod from Charles and passes it to his Equerry, David Checketts.
- Charles clasped his hands together and the Queen wraps her hands around his. Prince Charles then declared, “I, Charles, Prince of Wales, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship, and faith and truth I bear unto you, to live and die against all manner of folks.”
- The Kiss of Fealty (Loyalty Kiss) is exchanged between the Queen & Charles. The Queen then helps Charles up; and in so doing she pledges herself to protect this her dependent & acknowledges his status as a Sovereign Prince.
- The Secretary of State for Wales & the Home Secretary deliver the Letters Patent to the Queen. The Queen then hands them to Prince Charles. Prince Charles then handed them to his Equerry, David Checketts. Prince Charles retrieves his gold rod from his Equerry.
- Prince Charles sits on his throne; which was located to the right of his mother.
- The Loyal Address from the people of Wales was read by Sir Ben Bowen Thomas (President of University College of Wales, Aberystwyth)
- Prince Charles read two speeches to the crowd. The first one he spoke in Welsh & the second he spoke in English. In both he promised the Welsh people that he planned to be involved in matters concerning the Principality.
- Following Charles’ speeches, a brief Religious ceremony was observed.
- The Queen, Prince Charles & Prince Philip walked to Queen Eleanor’s gate. Legend states that King Edward I introduced his infant son to the people of Wales at Queen Eleanor’s gate.
- At 3:30pm after the ceremony, the 21st Prince of Wales was presented to the Welsh people by the Queen at Queen Eleanor’s gate. The very same gate used by King George V to introduce the 20th Prince of Wales, Prince Edward (later known as King Edward VIII & the Duke of Windsor) to the Welsh people on July 13th, 1911.
- Spectators enjoyed a flypast. Due to low cloud cover, visibility was limited.
- The Senior Royals departed in two carriages as the National Anthem was played. The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Philip & Princess Anne rode together in the first carriage. The Queen Mom, Princess Margaret & the Master of the Horse (10th Duke of Beaufort, His Grace Henry Somerset) rode in the second carriage.
- The Royals rode back to the train station through streets lined with enthusiastic spectators.
*Royal Family Members in attendance: Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Princess Anne, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, Duke & Duchess of Kent, Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy & Sir Angus James Bruce Ogilvy, Lord Mountbatten
*The 1st Earl of Snowdon was the designer of the ceremony & the Constable of the Castle (so he was already at Caernarfon Castle).
*Prince Charles was dressed in the uniform of the Colonel and Chief of the Royal Welch Regiment.
*The Household Calvary also provided a Sovereign’s escort for the Queen’s Procession.
Reconciling the Celt: British National Identity, Empire, and the 1911 Investiture of the Prince of Wales (John S. Ellis, Journal of British Studies, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Oct., 1998), pp. 391-418)
Last updated on June 29th, 2019