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Friday, August 7, 1998 Published at 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK

UK Politics

Davies dons druid robes

Davies: Secretary of State and now druid

The Welsh Secretary, Ron Davies, has been made a druid in a special ceremony at the Welsh national Eisteddfod.

BBC Wales' Wyre Davies reports on the Eisteddfod
After a solemn procession to a ring of standing stones at Bridgend, Glamorgan, Mr Davies, wearing long white robes, complete with head-dress, was officially admitted into the Gorsedd of Bards, the Eisteddfod's ruling body.

His official bardic title is "Ron o Vachen" which translates as "Ron of Machen", the village where Mr Davies was born.

Rare honour

For politicians, entry into the Gorsedd is a rare honour but Mr Davies was singled out for his work in steering through the government's devolution plans.

Mr Davies had played "a determined role at a crucial period in the history of Wales", said the citation read out by Eisteddfod official Huw Thomas.

BBC Wales' Wyre Davies on the politics of language
The Welsh Secretary said: "This is a very exciting time for Wales, and a reflection of the interest in everything Welsh as we move towards the National Assembly next May and the prospect of taking a modern Wales into the 21st century.

"The assembly will be bilingual and the Welsh language will play a full part in its proceedings."

The Secretary of State is not a fluent Welsh speaker but is taking lessons.

The latest initiate into the Gorsedd of Bards has already said he wants to become First Minister of the assembly and a leadership contest takes place within the Wales Labour Party next month.

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