Prince of Wales

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prince of Wales. The title ‘prince of Wales’ was not of great antiquity when it was bestowed by Edward I on his 16-year-old son Edward in 1301. Llywelyn ab Iorwerth had called himself ‘prince of Aberffraw and Lord of Snowdon’. Dafydd ap Llywelyn had taken the title prince of Wales in 1244, though he failed to gain papal recognition, but Henry III was forced to acknowledge Llywelyn ap Gruffydd in the 1260s. Llywelyn was killed in 1282. The adoption in 1301 was presumably a gesture of conciliation by Edward I, though the tradition that his infant son, born in Caernarfon castle, had been shown to the people is a later invention. The title has since been reserved for the heir apparent and is held with the dukedom of Cornwall. Of the 21 holders of the title since 1301, 14 have succeeded to the throne.

J. A. Cannon

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Prince of Wales • n. a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the British throne (usually the eldest son of the sovereign) since Edward I of England gave the title to his son in 1301 after the conquest of Wales.