The Cross of Wales: a commission of the Goldsmiths’ Company
The cross was commissioned by His Majesty The King, as Prince of Wales, to celebrate the centenary of the Church in Wales, with The Goldsmiths' Company delivering the design and production processes.
The cross will be officially received by the Church in Wales at a service to follow the Coronation and its use going forward will be shared between the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Wales.
The commission was managed by Dr Frances Parton, Deputy Curator of the Goldsmiths’ Company, who worked with the internationally renowned master silversmith Michael Lloyd who designed and made the piece. It was designed with The King’s longstanding environmental priorities in mind – it is created from silver sheet produced from recycled bullion provided by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant, with a shaft of Welsh windfall timber and a stand of Welsh slate.
Chased on the reverse with the words from St David’s last sermon, the Cross of Wales will be blessed by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, on 19 April. The Cross will be officially received by the Church in Wales at a service to follow the Coronation.
The inscription engraved on the ferrule (which connects the top two pieces of the shaft of the cross) in English and Welsh reads:
The Gift of His Majesty King Charles III
Through the kindness of The Goldsmiths’ Company
Rhodd Ei Fawrhydi y Brenin Charles III
Trwy garedigrwydd Cwmni’r Gofaint Aur.
Words from St David’s last sermon:
“Byddwch lawen. Cadwch y ffydd. Gwnewch y Pethau Bychain”, which translates as: “Be joyful. Keep the faith. Do the little things.”
In making the Cross, Michael used traditional silversmithing techniques taught to many of the young silversmithing students at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London, which The King visited in November (2022). The Cross of Wales will lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
In compliance with the Hallmarking Act, the silver elements of the Cross bear a full hallmark (of the London Assay Office), including The ‘King’s Mark’ or Royal Mark (leopard’s head) which was applied by The King himself in November 2022 when visiting The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London. It is the first time in history that a monarch has applied The ‘King’s Mark’ (leopard’s head).
The Cross of Wales to lead Coronation at Westminster Abbey
The Cross of Wales, a new processional cross presented by His Majesty King Charles III as a centenary gift to the Church in Wales, will lead the Coronation procession at Westminster Abbey on 6 May.
Chased with words from St David’s last sermon, the Cross of Wales will be blessed by the Archbishop of Wales, Andrew John, at Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno, on 19 April.
In a significant ecumenical gesture, the Cross of Wales will incorporate a relic of the True Cross, the personal gift of Pope Francis to His Majesty The King to mark the Coronation.
The making of the Cross of Wales
The Cross of Wales is constructed from silver sheet pinned onto a wooden core. The front of the Cross is chased with a simple knotwork design, reflecting medieval Welsh art. The reverse of the Cross features the words of the last prayer of St David. The nimbus of the Cross is silver gilt. In a significant ecumenical gesture, the Cross of Wales incorporates a relic of the True Cross, the personal gift of Pope Francis to His Majesty The King to mark the Coronation. The relic of the True Cross is visible on the front of the Cross behind a cabochon rock crystal.
The core of the Cross of Wales and the shaft are constructed from seasoned windfall Welsh oak, and the base from Welsh slate. The silver sheet was produced from recycled bullion provided by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant. The Cross comes apart into separate pieces to be stored in a bespoke wooden box for storage and transport.
Some of the many traditional skills used to make the cross are chasing, gilding, engraving, stonemasonry, box-making, and wood-working/turning.
The master craftspeople who created the Cross
Silversmith Michael Lloyd designed the Cross of Wales and has made it working with a number of other specialist master craftspeople including a gilder, engraver, shaft-maker, box-maker and a stonemason producing the slate base.
Michael Lloyd is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary silversmiths. He has Welsh ancestry and lives and works in Scotland. Michael Lloyd | Artists at the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (scottish-gallery.co.uk)
Darren Crisp, Woodturner and Artist in Wood turned the three pieces of Welsh Oak that makeup the shaft and also treated and coloured all the timber used in the cross.
Sam James Engraving have been in operation at the Goldsmiths’ Centre since it opened its doors in 2012. Its two founders and managing directors Samantha Marsden and James Neville have combined expertise of over 50 years. They are dedicated to training the next generation of engravers.
Hiddlestons joiners, a family-run business run by Tommy Hiddleston and Duncan Baxter, made the bespoke box for storage and transport.
The nimbus of the Cross was gilded by Auric SG.