josh o'connor principe carlo the crown

In a storyline that advances more and more towards the most famous events of the last century – see tragic story of Lady Diana , which The Crown will face in its fourth season – the third chapter of the TV series Netflix by Peter Morgan brings “new” characters on stage . Those who were mere accessories in the first few seasons are now real protagonists. Focused on the rise to power and the initial government challenges of Elizabeth II and Prince Philip (then played by Claire Foy and Matt Smith), seasons 1 and 2 had seen gods little Charles and Anne . Now the little royals have grown .

The episode six of the third season of The Crown – entitled Tywysog Cymru (Prince of Wales in the Welsh language) – faces an important and delicate moment in the life of Elizabeth II's eldest son as well as heir to the English throne. Carlo ( Josh O'Connor ) is the fulcrum of a intense, rich, psychological episode , which cannot help but highlight a multifaceted figure. The one to which, however, the episode fails to emphasize is the political background of Carlo's visit and studies in Wales. An oversight or a precise choice?

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Prince Charles in Wales to study the Welsh language

josh o'connor principe carlo the crown
Credits: Netflix

The premises for Prince Charles' journey to Wales were, if we wish, rather banal. While the heir to the English throne was studying in Cambridge, he was “sent” for a intensive course of ninety days at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth. The topic: the Welsh language. He was then taken from an environment in which he was at ease and prospered, thanks also to an excellent response on the theatrical stage to follow political and state needs

The government's hope, the main architect of this staging, was to sweeten the Welsh people , in the midst of revolts of a nationalist nature , with a prince closer to their culture. In 1969 Prince Charles was officially invested with the title of Prince of Wales , a role he already held but was officially recognized that year. An impressive ceremony, held at Caernarfon Castle , in which Charles gave a speech entirely in Welsh.

Agitations policies in Wales between the years' 60 is '70

Proud people and for centuries convinced of being subjugated to the English dominion, i Welsh were certainly not enthusiastic of the investiture of the nth English prince . A symbol of domination , according to them, which all he did was turn the knife in the wound full of centuries of discontent. The last Prince of Wales of Welsh origin was in fact Llywelyn ap Gruffudd – which Carlo awkwardly fails to recognize at the dinner with his tutor and the university leaders – whose investiture goes back to 1258.

When Charles arrived in Wales to study with his tutor, Edward Millward , many were opposed to what it represented. The political unrest, which had been active in the area for years, had reached the peak in 1957, when an act of parliament had consented to flooding of Tryweryn Valley, one of the last Welsh-speaking villages. Some time later the population was completely evicted to allow Liverpool to have access to 'water. These and other actions, which did nothing but impose English domination and exploit the resources of the territory, animated the minds of the nationalist militants

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What the episode of The Crown fails to tell is that the period in which Charles studied in Aberystwyth there were many demonstrations against the crown in the immediate vicinity of your accommodation. Carlo himself later recalled:

“Every day I had to go to the city where the lessons were held and most some of the days there were demonstrations against me – often with counter-demonstrations, headed by beautiful middle-aged old women coming down from a bus. ”

The tutor of Prince Charles: Edward Millward

josh o'connor principe carlo the crown
Credits: Netflix

But what really happened in the three months – or ninety days – of intensive lessons in the desolate Wales? The then 21 Prince Charles was sent to Wales , just as told by the episode of The Crown , to learn Welsh . His teacher was Professor Tedi Millward, a fervent Welsh nationalist. For anyone, if they were asking yes, the prince and the activist actually became friends, or at least there was respect between the two

Telling of the weeks spent with Prince Charles, in an interview with 2015 Millward recalled:

“[…] At the time I was a well-known activist and therefore I was not surprised at all how much the university asked me to teach the Welsh to Prince Charles for a quarter. We had individual lessons once a week. He was anxious to learn and he talked a lot. In the end his accent became pretty good. “

In effect, the prince gave the speech of his investiture as Prince of Wales properly in the language of the region. It is no mystery that still today , every whenever he has the opportunity to travel to Wales, the prince makes an effort to speak the local language.

“Towards the end of our studies, one morning [Carlo] greeted a woman at the university with Bore Da , good morning in Welsh. She turned around and simply said to him: “I don't speak Welsh! In short, his presence [all’universtità] caused some turmoil. Crowds gathered outside the university while he drove his sports cars. “

The investiture of Prince Charles at Caernarfon Castle

What fails to recount The Crown ?

Although the sixth episode of the third season of The Crown is one of the most intense of the season and certainly the most exciting for the character of Carlo there is no doubt that the fifty minutes put on only a minimum part of what really happened in Wales in 1969 . In addition to the evident political and revolting frame, the organization of the investiture of Carlo is missing. No mention is made of the fact that he was Lord Snowden , the husband of Princess Margaret , to organize the investiture to make it television-friendly

The demonstrations of the Welsh or the L hatred towards a distant and cold crown. The episode focuses on Carlo , as it is right that it is. A logical choice to describe the growth of his character, a little less to paint in detail the socio-political atmosphere of Wales at the end of the year 60 . Although obviously the goal was certainly not the one.

Partial source: Esquire

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