Royal Charter Celebration Evening: Report
The Learned Society of Wales held a formal celebration at the Wales Millennium Centre on the evening of 19 November to mark the award of Royal Charter by Her Majesty the Queen to the Society.
Awards of Royal Charter are comparatively rare and are typically reserved for eminent professional bodies, charities or universities which have a solid record of achievement and are financially sound like the BBC, the British Council and the Research and Sports Councils.
The Celebration evening which included a reception comprised a series of short speeches from distinguished speakers interspersed with music, singing and poetry.
The evening was a ‘thank you’ for Fellows, stakeholders, influential friends and sector partners for their support during the application for Royal Charter and a celebration of this landmark moment in the history of the Society.
In a message to the Society Carwyn Jones First Minister said
“Wales needed, and now has, its own national academy and we should feel proud of the remarkable progress it has achieved in a short time. In recognising excellence, and covering scholarship across all disciplines in Wales, the Learned Society is uniquely positioned to harness and promote Wales’ intellectual capability including the importance of the Welsh language and Welsh Studies”
In a statement Stephen Crabb Secretary of State for Wales said
“Being Wales’s first national scholarly academy , the Society has ensured Wales’s achievements be accurately represented and promoted in fields such as science, engineering medicine, arts , humanities and social science on both the UK and international scale”
Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society commented that
“Wales has long played a strong role in fostering the research and scholarship in the UK that are so important to our society . The establishment of the Learned Society of Wales in 2010 was long overdue recognition of that fact”
Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh said that
“The Power of scholarship and excellence across the UK is strengthened by the Learned Society of Wales now operating under a Royal charter”.
The celebration evening featured the harpist Glenda Clwyd, commissioned poetry by Gwyneth Lewis FLSW and Tudur Goch, and music by students of the Wales International Academy of Voice and also the St David’s String Quartet, led by Robin Stowell FLSW.
The LSW has been working towards Royal Charter for several years and this has involved a long consultation with the Privy Council and support of several hundred outside bodies both inside and outside Wales. The evening was a ‘thank you’ for Fellows, stakeholders, influential friends and sector partners for their support during the application for Royal Charter and a celebration of this landmark moment in the history of the Society.
The award of Royal Charter does not provide for a change in the name of the Society. However The Society has agreed to seek to rename the Society: “The Royal Society of Wales / Cymdeithas Frenhinol Cymru.”