KING Charles should relinquish ownership of castles in Wales and give them to the Welsh people according to a Brynamman singer and campaigner.

Dafydd Iwan – who was born in Brynamman and lived in north Wales for a number of years – has made the call for the monarch to relinquish Wales’ Norman castles in his autobiography.

In his autobiography Dafydd Iwan: Still Singing Yma o Hyd, he said he was astounded to find out that a number of iconic Welsh castles including Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Harlech, Conwy and Flint were all still owned by the Crown Estate, despite conservation agency Cadw managing them.

Dafydd said he made the discovery when he was trying to organise a concert at Caernarfon Castle to celebrate his 80th birthday and mark 40 years of Yma o Hyd.

Dafydd said: “The original intention was to have a big bash in Caernarfon Castle, but despite Cadw’s willingness to work with us, in the end the problems outweighed the advantages.

“During our deliberations with Cadw, I learnt something which was complete news to me.

“For years now, I’ve been extolling the virtues of Castell Caernarfon, built by an English king to mark the furthest point of his empire and to keep us Welsh in our place, but recaptured, as it were, through Cadw by the people of Cymru. But how wrong I was!

“Although run by Cadw, the castle – along with others – remain in the hands of the Crown.”

Dafydd believes that if Wales gains independence, the people should have the power to ditch the royal family and become a republic with an elected president as head of state.

He said: “In the Wales of 2023, the priority is to sort out the governance of Wales, and to ensure the Senedd has full powers to organise Wales to the advantage of its people, and to decide on our own priorities.

“After independence, the people of Cymru will be able to decide what role, if any, they want the royal family to play. Personally, I want Wales to be a free democratic republic with an elected president. And a great first step would be for the crown to return to the people of Wales its vast properties, including our rich coastal regions and the castles built by Edward to keep us in our place.”

Dafydd Iwan: Still Singing Yma o Hyd costs £9.99 from publishers Y Lolfa.