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Friday, 16 July, 1999, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Opera star Bryn's a king
Bardsey Island
Bryn Terfel's kingdom
Opera star Bryn Terfel is to have his own Land of Song after being offered the kingship of a Welsh island.

Unfortunately, the baritone will have trouble even scraping together a chorus to join him in an operatic aria as he will only have five subjects.

Bryn Terfel
Bryn Terfel: King of Bardsey

His future kingdom, Bardsey Island off the coast of north Wales, is home to a shepherd, his wife, a nun and two others, who look after the island for the Bardsey Island Trust.

Eighty per cent of the island's Trust members responded favourably to the idea of approaching Bryn Terfel for the role of patron of the island.

They then took it one step further and offered him the throne which has been vacant since 1927.


Children at Crud y Werin school in Aberdaron on the mainland have made him a crown and the coronation will take place at the National Eisteddfod on Anglesey next month.

Two children from the school will do the honours.

Trust director Simon Glyn said: "We chose Bryn because he is without doubt Wales's greatest ambassador and his roots are firmly on the peninsula at Pant Glas."

The island has 15 houses and a place called Plas Bach, which means Little Palace.

The winter population of the island is just five, although the summer population swells to as many as 50.

King Love

Terfel, 33, will only be a symbolic head of the island, not all powerful like in the past and he will not get the original crown, which is at Liverpool's Maritime Museum.

The original, made of brass and tin, was last worn by King Love Pritchard, who died in 1927.

When King Love visited Pwllheli on the mainland in 1925, he was welcomed by Lloyd George as an "overseas king".

The island declared itself neutral in the First World War after King Love was refused entry to the British forces for being too old.

Local rumour has it that subsequent approaches to the Kaiser were also turned down.

Crown Prince Terfel was out of the country and not available for comment. He will be back for his crowning.

An aerial tour of the kingdom
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