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Royal Ceremony and National Identity in Wales 1911-1969

Through a study of an "invented" royal ceremony held in Wales in 1911 and again in 1969, Investiture: Royal Ceremony and National Identity in Wales 1911-1969 explores the problematic, contested and changing relationship between nationality, ethnicity and the state in the United Kingdom.
What happens to the meaning of the British monarchy when it leaves the English centre and crosses into the Celtic periphery? How does royal ceremony become a vehicle for defining and contesting the relationship between ethnicity, nationality and the state when it takes place amongst a problematic group like the Welsh? How are internal social and cultural divisions within the periphery represented, addressed and reconciled in such ceremonial? How do these relationships and the constellations of identity that they form change over time?
This study explores the ethnic margins and imperial dimensions of British national identity through the ceremonies of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales and the public reaction to them. Through the vehicle of ascribing meaning to this royal ceremony, competing parties and social groups defined alternative and often conflicting models of Welshness and its relationship to British national identity, the British state and the British Empire.

The 1911 ceremony took place in the midst of a political maelstrom involving nationalist demands and industrial conflict that questioned the very basis of the British constitution and the nature of the British state. The ceremony of 1969 was conducted in an atmosphere of youth protest, decolonization, deindustrialization, nationalist extremism and violence. An examination of the ceremonies and their relationship to the social, political and cultural environments within which they were preformed will identify the changing problems and limitations of national identity in a multinational state at two crucial stages in the modern history of Wales and the United Kingdom.

224 pages | 13 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2008

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
Part 1   Introduction
Pageantry in the face of the sun
The investiture and invented tradition
Part 2   A ceremony for Wales: The 1911 Investiture
1   Welsh nationalism and the Liberal Party
2   Iuxta morem - according to custom
3   The ’invention’ of the investiture
4   The prince and the gwerin
5   Reconciling the Celt
6   The red dragon and the red flag
7   Recessional
Part 3   Pomp, perspex and protest: The 1969 Investiture
8    ’Let’s Go!’ Labour and Wales
9    Reinventing the investiture
10  The investiture and ’The Way Ahead’
11  We’ll keep a welcome?
12  Bradwyr and extremists
13  Whither the prince?
Select bibliography

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