A royal palace for Wales? Is it time to put Wales on an equal footing with the other nations of the UK? asks a new study by Gorwel
Our new study entitled “Playing the royal card”, examines the economic, social and political pros and cons of having a royal palace established in Wales. At the moment Wales is the only country in the United Kingdom not to have a royal palace/residence for the monarch. There are currently a number in England and Scotland and one in Northern Ireland. Although the Prince of Wales does have a private residence in Wales, there is no official residence for the monarch, which makes Wales distinct. The report offers various options for building a new palace or adapting an existing building. It explores the economic case, if the royal palace is situated in Cardiff. The report finds that there could be a important economic and employment boost to the city. This also could bring in an extra £25 million pounds of spending into the city in its first decade of existence.
Like other parts of the UK, a royal palace can be used for purposes other than as a royal residence. The report notes that is could act as a national and international show piece, a visible link to the Crown, a centre for national occasions, business and economic promotion and events, garden parties and other civic occasions. A royal palace can also act as an opportunity to promote tourism related employment in Wales.
“Playing the royal card” also examined some of the drawbacks to a establishing a new palace in Wales. These included the potential cost, displacement of tourism from other sites in Wales, resistance from Welsh nationalists and republicans to the presence of the Crown in Wales and it being seen as a symbol of extravagance in a period of austerity.
It is important to note that the “Playing the royal card” is not calling for a new Royal palace to be built at public expense but merely for the concept of creating one to be explored. If it was deemed to be beneficial it would then put Wales on an equal footing with the other capitals of the UK for its royal presence. The report gives an economic, cultural and political case for establishing a palace in Wales, for the first time since the middle ages.
We should note that there are also drawbacks, which we also list in the report. In preparing “Playing the royal card”we found that there could a substantial royal tourism benefit, which is enjoyed by other capital cities in the UK, being beneficial for Cardiff and surrounding areas. This should now be considered more fully.
The full report can be accessed from below