Michael Sheen is Welsh, and he’s grown more political over the past decade or so, especially when he moved back to Wales after years spent living in America (for the most part). When I say “political,” I mean… involved in Welsh politics, and the politics of the United Kingdom. This week was not the first time he’s spoken about the “Prince of Wales” title and the need to do away with giving the PoW title to the English crown prince. That position wasn’t as popular when then-Prince Charles was PoW. Charles, for all of his faults, showed a great deal of respect to Wales, learning Welsh, honoring Welsh customs and traditions, visiting Wales frequently, and even buying a Welsh country home. Prince William ain’t doing all of that. William expected to just laze about and promise to be keen about Wales and that was it. William wouldn’t even explicitly support the Welsh football team! Which is what kicked things off this week, with Sheen criticizing the new “Prince of Wales” making an effort to support the Three Lions but not the Welsh team, with both teams playing in the FIFA World Cup. Now Sheen has more to say:
Michael Sheen today claimed that the Welsh people want the Royal Family to give up the Prince of Wales title because it has been used by the English as a ‘sign of dominance over a defeated Welsh people’. The actor has taken a series of swipes at Prince William since he met the England team earlier this week and since the Queen died has also attacked his father King Charles III, who was the longest serving Prince of Wales in history.
It came as rugby luminary Sir Gareth Edwards backed the new Prince of Wales over Michael Sheen and insisted the heir to the throne can support both England and Wales at the World Cup in Qatar – telling MailOnline that he will be doing the same.
Mr Sheen accused William of not showing ‘a shred of embarrassment’ when he visited England’s St George’s Park training centre on Monday where he presented them with shirts for the World Cup in Qatar and wished them well. The star said it was ‘inappropriate’ for William to give them England shirts as the Prince of Wales – a title he believes should only be held by a Welshman.
He said: ‘I didn’t say it’s insensitive to leave out the Welsh team. For those who care the issue is that the title Prince of Wales seems inappropriate to be held by anyone not Welsh and this is just an instance of the absurdity… The title PoW was first given to the heir to the English throne by his father the King as a sign of dominance over a defeated Welsh people. The “tradition” can be continued or not on the whim of whoever inherits the throne. Many Welsh people feel it should be ended. It’s entwined with so much of our history and how many of our present day challenges have evolved since then that it can be for many an issue that holds much more than just it’s surface meaning’.
Sir Gareth Edwards, Wales’ greatest ever sportsman, will still be cheering on Gareth Southgate’s team – except when they play Wales in 12 days’ time. He told MailOnline today: ‘I know Michael Sheen is lighting up the fire and if that fires up Wales to greater heights then that’s fantastic. But we are neighbours and I have lots of friends who have played for both England and Wales. If England play Brazil or anyone else in the tournament then I’d want England to win.’
Yeah, again, it’s about a lot more than “what team is William supporting.” Sheen is pointing out something very real for the Welsh people: that William couldn’t be bothered to even make a lukewarm diplomatic effort to support the Welsh team WHILE William is just a few months into the “Prince of Wales” role. If William doesn’t give a sh-t about something relatively minor but hugely symbolic, what hope is there that William will be any kind of solid representative to and for the people of Wales? Plus, I think the simple issue of the “Tywysog Cymru” is an easy one for everyone to understand: PoW is a Welsh title meant for a Welshman, stolen and appropriated by the English monarch, and it should end now.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.