The eyes of the World were on Shotton 33 years ago today.
The global media spotlight shone brightly on Deeside 33 years ago today, 27th October 1981
The focus of world attention centred around Prince Charles and his new wife of just three months, Diana Princess of Wales, as the couple embarked on their first tour together with a three day visit to Wales.
The Prince and Princess arrived by Royal train at Shotton station for the start of a 400 mile three day journey across the Principality.
Charles and Diana’s arrival in Shotton was witnessed by huge crowds along the route to Deeside Leisure Centre which was the scheduled stop off on Deeside.
The visit was captured on film by ITN cameras, describing the arrival of the Royal couple ITN reporter Anthony Carthew comments:
“In an way an odd place to arrive, non of the grandeur, romance and legend of Wales here”
As the Royal couple step off their train onto the platform at Shotton, the commentator continues to describe a rather bleak view, saying;
“Beyond them (the royal couple) the flat outline of Shotton’s beleaguered steelworks, a reminder of the problems of modern Wales”.
The fairly grim picture painted by the reporter who went onto to describe how Deeside had one of the highest unemployment levels in the UK, hardly surprising given the previous February, Shotton suffered the UK’s greatest mass loss of jobs in living memory when 6000 steelworkers livelihoods disappeared in a single day.
At the time of the visit and unbeknown to anybody other than her closest aids and husband, Diana was pregnant with her first son, Prince William.
A newspaper article at the time reported on the visit:
‘Prince and Diana shrug off Welsh bomb.’
‘SHOTTON, WALES — Prince Charles and Princess Diana, shrugging off a bomb threat, mingled with cheering crowds Tuesday at the start of a three-day visit to Wales, the couple’s first major official duty together since their honemyoon.
The tour went ahead despite discovery Monday of a firebomb on their scheduled route. The bomb, believed planted by Welsh nationalist extremists, was defused after a telephone tip.
Police tightened already heavy security, but Charles, who is the Prince of Wales, and Diana appeared relaxed and cheerful when they stepped off their special train at Shotton to begin their tour.’
The Chicago Tribune chose to focus on a small but noisy demonstration who threw a stink bomb and shouted “go home English Prince”
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