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Prince Charles, George Peele, and the theatrics of monarchical ceremony

July 3, 2015

Excerpt from an OUPblog article, published on July 1st, by Marisa R. Cull, Associate Professor of English at the Randolph-Macon College. She is the author of Shakespeare's Princes of Wales: English Identity and the Welsh Connection, which is now available on Oxford Scholarship Online.

Shakespeare's Princes of Wales

"Today [at the time of original publication] marks the forty-sixth anniversary of Prince Charles’s formal investiture as Prince of Wales. At the time of this investiture, Charles himself was just shy of his twenty-first birthday, and in a video clip from that year, the young prince looks lean and fresh-faced in his suit, his elbows resting on his knees, his hands clasping and unclasping as he speaks to the importance of the investiture:

Well I feel that it is a very impressive ceremony. I know perhaps some people would think it is rather anachronistic and out of place in this world, which is perhaps somewhat cynical, but I think it can mean quite a lot if one goes about it in the right way; I think it can have some form of symbolism. For me, it’s a way of officially dedicating one’s life or part of one’s life to Wales, and the Welsh people after all wanted it, and I think also the British on the whole tend to do these sorts of ceremonies rather well, and for this reason, it’s done well, in fact, and I think it’s been very impressive, and I hope other people thought so as well."

Discover more: Read more in Marisa's article 'Prince Charles, George Peele, and the theatrics of monarchical ceremony'. The introductory chapter 'Welsh Princes, English Playwrights' in Shakespeare's Princes of Wales is now freely available to read until the end of August. Get access to the full text of this book, as well as over 800 Oxford Literature titles, by recommending OSO to your librarian today.