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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Mass to remember lost princess
The new memorial in Lincolnshire
The new memorial to the "lost" princess, Gwenllian
The lost princess of Wales, Gwenllian, daughter of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, will be remembered in a special mass which will be performed in Bangor Cathedral.

In the 13th Century, when Wales was fighting for its independence against the King of England, Edward the First, Gwenllian was the only child and heir of the Welsh prince Llywelyn.

She was only six months old when her father was killed at Cilmeri on December 11th 1282, fighting against Edward's forces.

Llywelyn was the last prince of the Gwynedd dynasty, and with his death, Welsh hopes of withstanding the English were dashed.

Edward was determined to make sure that Gwenllian would not grow to become a threat to his conquest of Wales, so he arranged for her to be snatched from her home in Gwynedd and taken to a convent in Sempringham in Lincolnshire.

There, she was kept prisoner as a nun for the rest of her life, with the King of England paying the convent to keep her there. She died in 1337 aged 54.

History rediscovered

Her history received little attention until 1996 when the Princess Gwenllian Society was formed to commemorate her.

The society erected a memorial to her in Sempringham, and has arranged a number of events to keep the name of Wales's lost princess alive.

On June 12th, this year, 7.30pm, the society has arranged that a special mass for Gwenllian will be sung at Bangor Cathedral as part of the evening service, in the presence of the Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Rev Saunders Davies.

The mass was written in Welsh by the prominent poet Alan Llwyd, and an English translation has been carried out by Gweneth Lilly for the benefit of non-Welsh-speakers at the cathedral service.

Cr Seiriol will be performing the work, which has been set to music by Gwenan Pyrs.

Mallt Anderson, of the Princess Gwenllian Society, said the event was very historic.

In a separate development, a new memorial to Gwenllian was set up in the Sempringham area last week.

The memorial, created by Ammanford sculptor Ieuan Rhys, takes the place of the previous memorial, which had been vandalised.

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12 Jun 00 | Wales
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