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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Royal harpist prepares for debut
Claire Jones
Claire Jones has been playing the harp since she was 10
A 22-year-old musician has been appointed as the new official harpist to Prince Charles.

Claire Jones from Crymych, Pembrokeshire, is the third person appointed to the post.

She will make her debut at a dinner for Assembly Members hosted by the Prince and the Duchess of Cornwall at Cardiff Castle on Wednesday.

The post was created to encourage talented young harpists and Miss Jones said she was "very proud".

It was previously held by Jemima Phillips, who was appointed in 2004 and Catrin Finch who was appointed in 2000.

The Prince of Wales revived a tradition of having Welsh harpists by appointing Ms Finch.

She was the first to receive the post since it was last granted in 1871 by Queen Victoria to John Thomas.

It was one of my ambitions to become the royal harpist. It's something special to me
Claire Jones

However Miss Jones said: "I am extremely honoured to have been given this prestigious role as official harpist to the Prince of Wales.

"I am very proud to be able to promote the harp as an important part of our culture and heritage in Wales, and to continue Catrin and Jemima's fantastic work," she added.

"I also hope I can continue to visit schools during my term of appointment and inspire young people to learn this very special instrument."

She studied at the Royal College of Music and will be joining the Royal Academy of Music as a postgraduate in the autumn.

Ms Jones who began playing the harp when she was 10 is working on her debut CD which is due to come out later this year.

She has performed at the Houses of Parliament, Portcullis House, Kensington Palace and the Welsh assembly.

In 2006, she won the harp solo at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, was a finalist at the Third International Harp Contest in France and won the Royal College of Music Harp Competition.

Ms Jones said she had aimed for the appointment for years.

"It was one of my ambitions to become the royal harpist. It's something special to me."

She said she met the prince when he visited the Royal College of Music last month.

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