First English Prince of Wales
The future Edward II is generally called the first English Prince of Wales, although he was actually born in Caernarfon Castle and spoke Norman French, the language of Englandís rulers, rather than English, that of its people.
Edward I gave his son the title in 1301 at a Parliament held in the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral . That city was one of the great centres of medieval Britain, but we must wonder if its choice for the investiture was a gesture of contempt for Wales, given its distance from that territory.
Edward of Caernarfon was just 16 when made Prince of Wales. He would accede to the English throne six years later. His reign was a less than glorious one for the country, witnessing the defeat at Bannockburn and interminable political squabbling not least because of his infatuations for Piers Gaveston then Hugh Despenser. It ended, or so it is generally believed, with a horrific death at Berkeley Castle in 1327 .
The two previous (Welsh) Princes of Wales met equally unpleasant ends: Llywelyn ap Gruffydd taken unawares and despatched by English soldiers; and his brother Daffyd with even less dignity hanged, drawn and quartered in Shrewsbury .
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