Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Significant Escape

On this day, 11 December, in 1282 the last native prince of Wales, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, was killed by Edward I of England's soldiers. Edward then announced that the new Prince of Wales would be "a prince born in Wales, who did not speak a word of Welsh" and produced his infant son, later Edward II, born at Caernavon Castle when his father was campaigning in the area.

And so it is that to this day the male heir to the British throne automatically becomes 'Prince of Wales'.

Which makes me ponder on the lucky escape we had in Scotland. Edward was good at castrating the countries that he aimed to control. After Wales he moved on to Scotland and removed the ceremonial Stone of Scone upon which Scottish kings were crowned. How fortunate we were to have William Wallace to lead the resistance to Edward's 'overlordship' until the English king was overcome by a surfeit of campaigning, and King Robert I to defeat Edward II in battle at Bannockburn (above).

R.I.P. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd.

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