Could the Welsh language become more prominent during the reign of King Charles III?

A young Prince Charles delivers a speech in Welsh for the first time, in 1969 (ITV Archive / National Library of Wales)

The beginning of King Charles III's reign is very different to the beginning of Queen Elizabeth II's.

At all of the state occasions, from the succession council to the Lying in State, all four nations have been represented.

One of the new King's first acts is travelling to the capitals of the four parts of the country.

But something else is also significant - King Charles used Welsh in his first address to the nation.

It was only two words, "Tywysog Cymru" or Prince of Wales, in reference to Prince William. Is it a sign that Charles III will use Welsh, or Cymraeg, during his reign?

"His Welsh is pretty good," said First Minister Mark Drakeford.

"I think there will be opportunities that haven't been there before for him to demonstrate something which is very important about Wales.

"This is something which is different about Wales to any other part of the United Kingdom, that we are somewhere where two languages are genuinely in use, every day, in every part of Wales, and he will be in a better place to reflect that when the opportunities arise than has ever been the case in the past."

People in Wales are used to hearing the King making bilingual speeches. 

He learned the language ahead of his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. He spent a term the at Aberystwyth University learning Welsh under what he described as the "patient tutorship" of Dr Teddy Millward. An entire episode of the Netflix series The Crown is dedicated to it.

A young Prince Charles speaking with students and staff at Aberystwyth University in 1969. Credit: PA

His first Welsh speech came at the Urdd Eisteddfod of that year where he said wouldn't let the language vanish without a fight. 

The Presiding Officer of the Welsh Parliament says she hopes the use of Welsh will continue and broaden in the royal family.

"We have a King now who is reasonably familiar with the Welsh language and hopefully he will use it in some of his state appearances. It's no bad thing that it is shared on the world stage and hopefully the King will play a part in that."

'Diolch o galon'

It's unknown if the new Prince of Wales, Prince William, has been having Welsh lessons. He has used occasional phrases in the past, but not on the scale of his father.

Elizabeth II made all of her speeches in Wales in English.

But her last words spoken in public in Wales were in Welsh.

"Diolch o galon", she said. Thank you from the heart.