The Prince and Princess of Wales visited the Aberfan Memorial Garden for the first time to pay their respects to those who lost their lives during the Aberfan disaster. The Royal couple was visiting the Mid and South Wales for two days. Yesterday they visited Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team headquarters in Merthyr Tydfil.
The Aberfan Memorial Garden was built on the site of the former Pantglas Junior School and commemorates the 116 children and 28 adults who died in the Aberfan Disaster of 21 October 1966 because of a coal-tip landslide. The Garden is of huge importance to the bereaved parents, sibling next of kin, survivors and the whole community, as well as the thousands of visitors who come to pay their respects every year from around the world. Late Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III have visited the garden many times since 1966 after being officially opened in 1974 by the Queen herself.
William and Catherine toured the garden and were briefed by one of the Aberfan survivors and Professor Peter Vaughan, Lord Lieutenant of Mid Glamorgan. They heard the stories of the disaster and its aftermath from the survivors and people who lost their loved ones in the drastic tragedy. The tragedy was one of the UK’s worst disasters. It was caused by a spoil-heap landslide following heavy rain. Prince Philip was the first Royal to visit the scene as he arrived at the village the next day.
From the Daily Mail’s report,
“The survivors say they have a ‘special bond’ with the Royal Family, with the late monarch making five visits to Aberfan during her reign and King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, visiting on the 50th anniversary of the disaster.
In the crowd was survivor Gareth Jones, 63, who crawled out of a window of Pantglas School as his classmates were buried alive by the 150,000 tonnes of waste in the worst mining disaster on record…..
Mr Jones, just six at the time, met the Duke of Edinburgh when he visited the village the day after the tragedy. But the father-of-three never blamed the Queen for not turning up to console villagers for more than a week. He said: ‘To me, she held back as a mark of respect to the families who lost children.”
The Royal couple left a floral tribute at the site with a card reading ‘In loving memory’ signed William and Catherine.
“I think she sympathised with how hard it is with children. She said, ‘He can have it to play with, I’ll come back for it!’ like it was any other person in the street.
– Lucy Williams
— ChristinZ (@ChristinsQueens) April 28, 2023
A fun moment when a one-year-old Daniel Williams took a fancy to Catherine’s Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody Black Soft Printed Croc bag.
What The Princess of Wales wore to the Aberfan Memorial Garden
- Catherine Walker long coat
- Zara Printed Dress with Belt
- Emily Mortimer Hera White Gold and Diamond Pear Detachable Drops
- Welsh Guards Leek Brooch
- Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody Black Soft Printed Croc
- Gianvito Rossi Glen black Boots
The Princess of Wales was wearing her black Catherine Walker long coat that she first wore in September 2022 when she visited Sandringham after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Catherine was carrying her Mulberry Small Amberley Crossbody Black Soft Printed Croc that she first carried in February 2022 when she joined Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla for a joint engagement.
The Princess of Wales accessorized the simple look with her Emily Mortimer Hera White Gold and Diamond Pear Detachable Drops debuted in October 2022 when she visited the Royal Surrey county hospital