Posted: Thu 11th Jul 2024

King Charles to Visit Cardiff as Welsh Parliament Celebrates 25th Anniversary for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

King Charles will visit Cardiff today as the Welsh Parliament marks its 25th year.

It has been a quarter of a century since the first Members were elected to represent their communities across Wales.

The 25th anniversary coincides with the passing of a new Welsh law which will increase the size of the Senedd to 96 Members and introduce a new voting system at the 2026 election.

Today Their Majesties The King and Queen will visit the Senedd where The King will deliver a speech to mark the 25th anniversary and meet people who have made an invaluable contribution to the Senedd’s work.

Speaking in the ceremony in the Siambr, the Senedd’s debating chamber, will be the Llywydd of the Senedd, The Right Honourable Elin Jones MS, the First Minister for Wales, Rt. Hon. Vaughan Gething MS, and Party Leaders Andrew RT Davies MS for the Welsh Conservatives and Rhun ap Iorwerth MS for Plaid Cymru.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on starting at around 12:00.

Elin Jones MS was among the first cohort of Members elected to the then National Assembly for Wales in 1999 and has served the constituency of Ceredigion for the full 25 years.

Since 2016 she has served as Llywydd, the Senedd’s Presiding Officer.

The Llywydd of the Senedd, Rt. Hon. Elin Jones MS said: “25 years ago, Wales embarked on a transformative journey, electing the National Assembly for Wales.

“Since then the Senedd has become a fully-fledged Parliament, able to make laws in areas crucial to people’s lives.

“This is a modern and flexible Senedd, with sustainability at its heart.

“A bilingual parliament, proudly working in our two official languages. In 2003, the first parliament in the world to be gender balanced.

“Our journey continues. In 2026, voters will elect 36 additional Members to the Senedd, offering the people of Wales a stronger voice, better representation and increased scrutiny on decisions made for them.

“Politicians have come and gone, making their own contributions. But this is not a politicians’ Parliament – it belongs to the people of Wales, who forged its beginning and are shaping its future.”

During their visit to the Senedd, The King and Queen will meet people from the community who have contributed to the work of the Senedd, including Neil Evans, the petitioner who successfully started a campaign for plastic carrier bag charges in 2007.

Also among the guests are Sarra Ibrahim who has provided valuable evidence to Senedd Committees on multiple issues relating to childcare, gender-based violence and the needs of migrant women; cancer campaigner Claire O’Shea who shared her story to demand better gynaecological cancer treatments and results in Wales; and Angel Ezeadum, a former Welsh Youth Parliament Member who successfully campaigned to make teaching Black History mandatory in Welsh schools.

A posy will be presented to The Queen by 10 year-old Celyn Matthews-Williams from Llanelli, a Senedd Covid Community Champion. During the pandemic she raised money for food banks and the Wales Air Ambulance and brought joy to her community by growing sunflowers and setting up a book exchange on her garden wall.

Their Majesties will also meet members of Senedd staff who have worked here for 25 years, or are themselves 25 years old, and Welsh Youth Parliament representatives.

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