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  1. ITV Report

Lord Snowdon dies: royal uncle who organised investiture

Lord Snowdon with Prince Charles when they returned to Caernarfon Castle in 1994 for the 25th anniversary of the Investiture Photo: PA

Lord Snowdon, who's died aged 86, played a key role in the investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon in 1969. He was the fashion photographer who'd married Princes Margaret and as Constable of Caernarfon Castle he tried to give the ceremony a more contemporary feel.

When he recalled the occasion 40 years later, he pointed out that the ceremonial aspects of the investiture were "all as bogus as hell". When the Garter King of Arms opposed modernising the ceremony, Snowdon retorted "Garter, be more elastic".

He designed the chairs used for the investiture but not all his modernising ideas paid off. He created an olive green uniform for himself as Constable of the Castle and admitted that he ended up looking as if he was playing Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella.

But he was pleased with the ceremony, which required stretching a budget of £50,000.

Everything was from Wales. I got everything very cheap, I did a lot of bargaining, I'm not Welsh for nothing.

– Lord Snowdon

Although born in London, he was proud of his Welsh ancestry. In 1966, he accompanied the Welsh Secretary, George Thomas, to Aberfan soon after the disaster. When they entered one bereaved family's home, the Secretary of State was surprised -and impressed- that the Queen's brother-in-law offered to make everyone a cup of tea.

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