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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 14:43 GMT
Ceremony for murdered prince
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd
A memorial to the prince takes place every year
Leading politicians and civic dignitaries were in mid Wales on Saturday to remember Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last Prince of Wales.

Welsh MPs and AMs and other political leaders gathered at the Cefn-y-Bedd Memorial in Cilmeri near Builth Wells in Powys.

A ceremony is held every year on the nearest Saturday to the day the prince was killed.

He is said to have died in mysterious circumstances on 11 December, 1282.

The death of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd in 1282, and the destruction of his army, brought an end to an independent Welsh kingdom and its ruling dynasty - the roots of which stretched back to the days of the Roman Empire.

An annual commemoration has been held since the early 1960s. In 1982, on the 700th anniversary of Llywelyn's death, more than 2,000 people attended - the largest gathering to date.

Those attending included Roger Williams MP for Brecon and Radnor, Adam Price MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and former Labour minister Ron Davies.

Event organiser, historian Dr John H. Davies, chair of the Abaty Cwm Hir Trust said: "The loss of independence had a devastating effect upon the people of Wales and has been lamented by poets and political leaders ever since.

'Gave his life'

"In post-devolutionary Wales we are beginning to become aware of the significance of the key events of our history."

"Each year, more and more people of every political persuasion are coming to Cilmeri in December to honour the memory of a prince who gave his life for the freedom of his country.

"Today we are beginning to see the fruits of that sacrifice."

On Sunday, a wreath-laying ceremony will take place in memory of the soldiers of Wales at Builth Golf Club.

Later there will be a service of commemoration at the site of Prince Llywelyn's grave in the ruins of Abaty Cwm Hir near Llandrindod.

Artist David Petersen, joint organiser of the weekend's events said: "The annual commemoration has grown appreciably in recent years.

"This reflects a welcome and growing awareness of the people of Wales about the essential events of our history and heritage.

"If you are proud to be Welsh, you should be there. All are welcome."


SEE ALSO:
Children recall medieval prince
11 Dec 03 |  North West Wales


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