The Queen paid many visits to Wales over the years both before and after her accession to the throne in 1952. Her final visit before her death was to open the sixth term of the Senedd in October 2021. We look back at the Queen’s time in Wales in pictures.
Princess Elizabeth travelled to Mountain Ash which in 1946 played host to the Welsh National Eisteddfod.
The Princess was initiated into the Gorsedd of Bards of Britain, a society of Welsh-language poets, writers, musicians and others who have contributed to the Welsh language and to public life in Wales. She was given the title 'Elizabeth of Windsor'.
In 1948, Princess Elizabeth visited the Bath and West and Southern Countries Show at Cardiff. Earlier in the day, the Princess received the Freedom of Cardiff, given to those whom the City wishes to bestow an honour.
On 6th February 1952, Princess Elizabeth acceded to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI.
Five weeks after her coronation in June 1953, Elizabeth II made her first official visit to Wales as Queen.
The two-day tour began in Newport and included visits to Cardiff, Pontypridd, Caernarfon, Rhyl, Wrexham and Llangollen.
In August 1955, the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, embarked on a royal tour to fulfill duties in Wales, the Isle of Man and Scotland.
Accompanied by a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne, they visited spots including Brecon, the Rhondda, Llandovery, St David’s, Milford Haven, Aberystwyth and Pembroke.
In August 1960, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attended the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff, where the duke was initiated Honorary Ovate of the Gorsedd of Bards, with the title 'Philip Meirionnydd'.
In September 1966, the Queen officially opened the Severn Bridge, which allowed for safe and accessible travel between Wales and England across the River Severn.
Just weeks later, a colliery spoil tip collapsed and engulfed the village of Aberfan, killing 116 children and 28 adults.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Aberfan eight days later to pay their respects and offer comfort to the bereaved.
It has been reported that the Queen felt she had left it too late after the tragedy to visit Aberfan, deeming it her greatest regret.
In December 1968, the first phase of the Royal Mint’s headquarters in Llantrisant were opened by the Queen.
She switched on the coining presses to begin production of bronze coins, in preparation for the introduction of the decimal coinage in 1971.
The Queen’s eldest son, Charles, was made Prince of Wales when he was nine-years-old, but it was 11 years until his investiture took place in July 1969.
The Queen led the ceremony at Caernarfon Castle, with both Welsh and English spoken.
In addition to the 4,000 guests inside the castle walls, thousands more waited outside and millions around the world watched it on television.
In 1971, the Queen visited Cardiff to officially open a new district general hospital, the University Hospital of Wales. The Queen met patients and praised not only frontline teams but the many hundreds of staff that play a vital role behind the scenes.
Royal tours have marked key accession anniversaries for the Queen with the silver, gold and diamond jubilees in 1977, 2002 and 2012, respectively.
Each jubilee has seen people across Wales celebrating the occasion with colourful street parties and parades.
Wales has changed significantly during Queen Elizabeth II's reign, notably with the creation of its own government.
The Queen opened the first National Assembly for Wales in 1999, declaring it "a new and significant direction in the way Wales is governed… a moment of renewal, true to the spirit of Wales".
On 1 March 2006 - St David’s Day - the Queen officially opened the newly built Senedd building, where Assembly Members gather for Plenary.
The Queen has opened every session following an election since 1999, with her final visit to Wales in October 2021 to open the sixth term in the Welsh Parliament.
The Queen told the Senedd it was a “source of pleasure" that her family "have had homes in Wales and experienced its very special sense of community".
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