The ceremonial role of Mace-bearer for His Majesty King Charles III’s first visit to the Senedd had been bestowed once again to Shahzad Khan, a member of the Senedd security team.
Members of the Welsh Youth Parliament and pupils from a local Cardiff primary school will also play a part in history on Friday, 16 September, as some of the first people to meet His Majesty during his first visit to Wales. The Royal Party and guests will hear music by two harpists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort will come to the Senedd around lunchtime on Friday afternoon to receive a Motion of Condolence from Members of the Senedd.
The visit is part of a day of Royal engagements in the Capital, which also include a Service of Reflection at Llandaff Cathedral and a reception at Cardiff Castle.
People wishing to pay their respects at the Senedd are welcome to gather outside the building in Cardiff Bay, where the proceedings will be shown live on large screens.
“It’s a very sombre moment, but it’s also a privilege”
This is Shahzad Khan’s second time performing this unique duty. He was also Mace-bearer at the Official Opening of the 6th Senedd on 14 October 2021, which was Her Majesty The Queen’s final visit to Wales. He said:
“I was very honoured to be the Mace-bearer when The Queen visited the Senedd last year and I was lost for words when I was asked to do it again. I have a specific memory of the meeting - just looking at her as she entered the room was an amazing feeling and you could feel the whole room shift. I’ll keep that memory in my heart forever.
“Being the Mace-bearer this time is in very sad circumstances, but myself and my family are proud of my role in this historic moment. It will feel very different doing it as it’s a very sombre moment, but it’s also a privilege to be part of the transition to the reign of the new King.”
Harpists from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
Two harpists from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) will perform for Their Majesties as they move around the Senedd.
Cerys Rees is currently studying for a Masters in Music Performance at RWCMD after graduating with a First-Class Bachelor of Music with honours. Nia Evans graduated this summer from RWCMD receiving a masters degree with distinction, along with the Royal Welch Fusilliers Harp Prize, and the Daniel Emlyn Davies Award.
Welsh Youth Parliament
A group of twelve Welsh Youth Parliament Members will have the honour of meeting and speaking with The King and Queen Consort about their work representing the voices and opinions of Wales’ young people. They include Members elected to represent their local constituencies and others elected as representatives on behalf of youth charities or organisations.
A further thirty Members of the Youth Parliament will be among the guests inside the Senedd to watch the proceedings.
Local Primary School
Pupils from local primary school Ysgol Gymraeg Hamadryad, in Butetown, Cardiff, will gather outside the Senedd to greet His Majesty The King as he leaves the building. Pupils will also present Her Majesty The Queen Consort with a posy as they prepare to leave for their next engagement at Cardiff Castle.
The Royal visit to Cardiff
Their Majesties’ visit to Cardiff will first see them visit Llandaff Cathedral for a Service of Prayer and Reflection before arriving at the Senedd. Finally, they will attend a reception at the Cardiff Castle where the King will also hold a private audience with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, and the Llywydd of the Senedd, Rt Hon. Elin Jones MS.
People are welcome to gather at all locations, to pay respects to Their Majesties. At Cardiff Castle, 2,000 members of the public - on a first come, first served basis – will also be welcomed into the grounds.
The public are also invited to line the route to welcome the Royal Party as it approaches and departs the Castle.