By Liam Ketcher
Being a proud Welshman and Welsh speaker, I bet you can understand the excitement and passion that runs through my veins when the Six Nations comes around every year. I love it, it’s even better than Christmas. It comes at no better time, during February and March, probably the most miserable and boring months of the year – with the exception of the Six Nations itself and Saint David’s Day, of course.
Although this year Wales saw a few disappointing results, nothing annoyed me more than the Royal family. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I dislike them (that much), but it drives me crazy how this very ‘English British’ family can represent the other nations within the Union. During our final game of the tournament I found myself cursing at the big screen every time William and Kate were shown in the crowd clapping, cheering and looking as smug as ever. It doesn’t really help that England had already won the tournament as a result of the previous weekend’s game.
It really annoyed me that the Duke and Duchess of CAMBRIDGE were representing Wales in France. Surely you can see what I’m saying here, as let’s be honest there’s nothing Welsh about them. At least Charles and Harry have Wales in their titles. But even then, to me they represent nothing even remotely Welsh and I can’t see how any Welsh person can feel truly represented by the Royal family.
Personally, I feel that the Royals could do a lot more to help represent the other nations within the Union. Not only for sporting events but they could be useful in raising awareness and supporting campaigns. Let’s take, for example, the Welsh language. If the holder of the title Prince of Wales had to learn how to speak Welsh, they would not only create a bond with the people of Wales, but they really would help towards raising the number of Welsh speakers. This in my opinion, would actually show that they care about the rest of us here in the UK. I understand that a lot of people don’t care about the Welsh language, but many of us here in Wales do. By having a Royal, especially the Prince of Wales, speak the language it may inspire others to do the same.
Something else that has annoyed me previously is the Queen being referred to as the Queen of England. She is the Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms, but I feel pop culture refers to her as the Queen of England- it’s no wonder that many Welsh and Scottish people are pushed out of the ‘British circle’. I personally don’t feel British at all, I am Welsh through and through. This is because Wales isn’t represented in anyway on the UK platform. Wales isn’t even represented on the Union’s flag – I understand that at the point of the creation of the flag Wales was a principality of England. However, since then we have regained some form of independence as a nation within the UK. Due to the fact that we were once a Kingdom within Britain I feel that Wales should be represented on the Union Jack. Obviously this won’t happen, but it’s nice to dream, I guess.
Another thing that gets on my nerves is the English national anthem “God save the Queen” being the British national anthem. England should get their own or Britain needs a new one, but I refuse to sing the same anthem as England. I find it awkward during the Olympics, for example, because I have full support for all British athletes, but again I refuse to sing “God save the Queen”.
If it’s not the Royals representing Wales and the other nations during the rugby and other sporting events, who do I think should be there? In my opinion, it should be the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones. He meets all the criteria; he speaks Welsh, he is Welsh and represents Wales on a National platform.