Television cameras have been granted unique access to The Prince of Wales at his Welsh home of Llwynywermod, deep in the Carmarthenshire countryside.
In a very personal interview, to be broadcast on ITV Cymru Wales, The Prince reflects on his investiture as Prince of Wales, fifty years ago this summer.
The event was watched by half a billion people around the world putting Wales firmly on the global stage. But it was not without controversy as, for some, the celebration also became a moment for nationalist protest.
Recalling his time at University in Aberystwyth where he learned Welsh before the Investiture, The Prince says:
“I went to these lecturers and most days there seemed to be a demonstration going on against me with a counter-demonstration, usually by splendid middle-aged ladies who got out of a bus.
“That was an interesting experience!”
He also explains how, as a young man, he learned about the Welsh countryside.
“I remember one day exploring a bit of wonderfully remote mid-Wales, which is magical countryside, relatively empty, and I got completely lost.
“I had this chance to explore. I rather fell in love with a lot of the Welsh countryside.
“I learned an awful lot about Wales in the process.”
Decades later and The Prince was able to cement his love for the landscape and people of Wales by buying a home near Llandovery.
It has enabled him to showcase the craftsmanship and culture of Wales.
“It just seemed to me to be wonderful to have somewhere in Wales to base myself which would indicate, you know, as much interest and concern for people in Wales as I possibly could.”
Creating a Welsh home has also allowed The Prince to get to know more of the people and places that make Wales unique.
“I’ve tried, as hard as I can, to encourage people to remember and to develop, you know, the timeless nature of their culture and traditions.”
Craftspeople featured in programme include Anna Grime who runs a tiny mill in Solva, Pembrokeshire where rugs for the house were made.
“We did a floor rug for his entrance hall, where he meets and greets people when he is entertaining and then we also did this floor rug which was for his private quarters in Llwynywermod.”
The programme also highlights the local rugby club in Llandovery where The Prince has been fortunate to be Patron during the most successful chapter in the club’s history.
Handel Davies, President of Llandovery RFC says:
“We are the only Welsh rugby club to have Prince Charles as our patron and it’s put Llandovery on the map, definitely.”
During the film, The Prince and his wife The Duchess of Cornwall are filmed on their annual Welsh tour, making new friends and reconnecting with people from The Prince’s past.
And, in what The Prince describes as a ‘pilgrimage’ – he meets the nephew of World War One poet and Welsh hero Hedd Wyn, who was killed on the first day of The Battle of Passchendaele before being posthumously awarded the Bard’s Chair at the 1917 Eisteddfod.
The Prince says:
“Of course his name, Hedd Wyn really means ‘blessed peace’. That’s the ultimate irony of all this. So it’s been wonderful for me just to have the chance to come and make a small pilgrimage here, if you see what I mean, to the house of this truly remarkable man, in the great tradition of Welsh poets.”
Fifty years on it is perhaps The Duchess who best sums up what it is The Prince loves most about Wales: “Quite simply it’s the culture, it’s the landscape, it’s the people.”
ITV’s Controller of Factual, Jo Clinton-Davis said:
“The Prince’s passion for Wales is palpable. This very personal story, blending contemporary access and fascinating insights into royal events offers a revealing and compelling portrait of the Prince at this landmark juncture.”
Executive Producer Siân Price of Cardiff-based Yeti Television added:
“We had fantastic access and captured The Prince at his most relaxed. He didn’t shy away from the difficulties he’s experienced and spoke movingly of how he set about turning things around. We’re thrilled to bring the Prince’s Welsh memories, stories and passions to a wider audience for the very first time.”