[ 2007-02-16 16:40 ]
Prince Charles is the latest in a long line of heirs to the British throne who have enjoyed the title of Prince of Wales.
Until the early middle ages, it was rare that any one leader could claim to have united the nation under one banner and become a Prince of Wales in its entirety, with the exception of rulers like Hywel Dda and Llywelyn ab Iorwerth.
Edward I, the English King who, in 1282, finally completed the conquest of Wales begun 200 years earlier, gave the title Prince of Wales to his infant son, Prince Edward, in 1301.
Since then, the eldest son of the reigning monarch has been made Prince of Wales. (Daughters of the reigning monarch do not become Princess of Wales, as it is only given to a male heir). The only exception was the famous Welsh rebel Owain Glyndwr, who was porcliamed Prince of Wales in 1400.
The title isn't automatic, however. It has to be created each time by the reigning monarch - and as such is not an hereditary title.
The first official Prince of Wales, the infant future King Edward II, was born in Caernarfon Castle in North Wales, and in 1911, the future Edward VIII was invested with the title in a ceremony in the same castle, the first time such a ceremony had taken place in Wales. At the age of 18, Prince Charles was also invested with the title in Caernarfon in 1969.