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Over The Network

Legends of Wales

This is a work in progress, so check back for more information.

March 1st is the day that all Welsh folk celebrate David, the patron saint of Wales. On this day, known in Welsh as Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant, celebrations include the wearing of the Welsh national costume, ceremonial eating of a leek (the national emblem) by Welsh Guards, and festivals of music and poetry, known as Eisteddfodau.

Legend has it that David, a monk who lived in the 6th century, suggested that Welsh warriors distinguish themselves from their foe by wearing leeks picked from a nearby field on their caps. To this day, the leek emblem is displayed on the berets worn by the Welsh Guards, and is the national emblem of Wales.

When we were kids we'd wear a leek to school. A daffodil (the national flower of Wales) was worn by the girls who didn't wish to smell of leeks.

Unlike the patron saints of England, Scotland and Ireland, David was born in his native country of Wales.

David lived between 544 and 601 A.D. However, as this WiKi suggests, his birth date is not known for certain, and could be anywhere between 462 and 512. The same article suggests he died in 589.

One account says that Edward VIII was Prince of Wales from 9 November 1901 – 6 May 1910, while another says that his father, George V, announced him Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester on 23 June 1910, and officially invested him as such in a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle on 13 July 1911. Who knows where truth is in all the folklore.

FWIW only 3 people held the title of Prince of Wales title independently:

  • Llywelyn ap Iorwerth: 1218 to 1240
  • Dafydd ap Llywelyn: 1208 to 1240
  • Llywelyn ap Gruffudd: 1223 to 1246

Translation of Welsh names: "ap" means son of, somewhat like the Irish O'xxx.

Lloyd George was Constable of the Castle and Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1911, and was Prime Minister from 1916-1922.

Welsh flag

The Welsh flag has a red dragon on a background of green and white. The dragon, known in Welsh as Y Ddraid Goch, has become a national symbol. Here's a Wiki with the history of the flag