King and Queen visit the Senedd to celebrate 25th anniversary of Welsh devolution

The King and Queen have visited the Senedd to mark 25 years of Welsh devolution.

Calling it a "significant milestone in our history", the monarch told members of the Welsh parliament that the last quarter-century had seen "great change, profound sorrow and tremendous achieving".

He said his "respect and affection for the people of this ancient land have deepened with every passing year."

Noting there "are many different ways to love and serve one's country", he told Senedd members Wales is "a unique mosaic of places, landscapes and culture that is entrusted to your care."

He said: "It's wonderful to see the Senedd uses the Welsh language so often not just as a symbolic use, but as its foundation."

Using both Welsh and English, he talked about his affection for "this ancient land" and how it was a privilege to share in the occasion, the BBC said.

The chamber had given Wales "a distinct voice", delivered with "clarity and purpose", he added.

The former Prince of Wales added: "It has given me great pleasure to see my son's [Prince William] relationship with this special land continue, including returning only this week to Anglesey - Ynys Mon - a place which I know means so much to him.

"So, it is with countless special memories and particular pride that I am able to join you as we reflect upon the last quarter-century of the history we have shared, and which you - in your work in this Senedd - have the great responsibility of making."

Read more:
Manhunt after body parts found in suitcase on bridge
Friends of Bushey victims 'together in grief'
How stars celebrated England's semi-final win

A choir from a local primary school, Ysgol Treganna, sang the song Safwn yn y Bwlch.

Two poems written by Senedd staff member Aron Pritchard were also read out.

One of the pieces was written when he was at school to mark the opening of the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, while the second marks the 25th anniversary.

The couple were greeted by children representing primary schools across Wales, before meeting the Llywydd (presiding officer) Elin Jones and First Minister Vaughan Gething.

Once inside the Senedd chamber, the King and Queen met party and parliamentary leaders as Mared Pugh-Evans, who has been appointed the King's harpist, played for them - her first performance in her new position.

The visit coincides with a new law which will see the size of the Senedd increase to 96 members from 2026.

The Royal Welsh formed a Guard of Honour for the royal couple when they arrived, the first time the King has seen them since he was appointed their Colonel-in-Chief on St David's Day.