Why the creation of William as the new Prince of Wales might take some by surprise

Prince William has become the Prince of Wales, announced by his father King Charles III in his first address to the nation. Credit: PA

The country has a new King and Wales has a new Prince.

On Friday evening, in a surprising move while addressing the nation, King Charles III announced that Prince William will succeed him as Prince of Wales.

It was something that nobody had anticipated at this point and reaction will come swiftly.

The title 'Prince of Wales' is traditionally awarded to the male heir to the throne.

The King held the title for over 60 years - the longest in history.  For some, this will be welcome news - a sign of continuity - but it will not be so welcome for others who believe the last 'true' Prince of Wales died in the middle ages.

As the new Prince of Wales assumes his title, it is not yet known whether Wales will see an investiture along the lines of what his father had at Caernarfon in 1969 or another form of ceremony.

But the fact that the King made the announcement in his first address to the nation is a sign that he perceives the title to be a significant one, at the top of the Royal Family. 

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