AmeriCymru: Hi Tywysog Llywelyn and many thanks for agreeing to this interview. Care to tell us a little about the genealogical background to your claim and title?
Llywelyn: Hello Ceri, and thank you for the opportunity and for what you have done with AmeriCymru. I recognize the duality of national identity and ethnic identity. AmeriCymru has done wonderful things for Welsh-Americans and the preservation of Cymraeg in the United States.
Yes, I would be glad to expand on this for you. I wish more people would take notice of what I am doing with the titles rather than be so fascinated with them, but I do understand the curiosity surrounding them. My claim to the native incorporeal hereditaments of Wales is based on Welsh law, common law, and international laws. Because I was the first qualified person under Welsh law since Owain Glyndwr to claim the titles, and being that the Welsh law states that “the office itself is not divisible”; jurists around the world have recognized me as the de jure or “rightful” owner of the titles. This is also based on the common law principles of estoppel and laches. A party that attempts to claim the titles now is precluded or barred from doing so, because the titles are no longer in abeyance; they have already been claimed and redeemed. The legal principle of laches essentially states failure to assert one’s rights in a timely manner can result in a claim being barred by laches, or by sleeping on one’s rights you can lose your rights. According to the Welsh law it was the right of every Welshman to claim this position if it were ever left vacant so that Wales could always be free. This is a right granted by blood (jus sanguinis) so every Welshman in the world theoretically was a claimant prior to the titles being called out of abeyance. Chwarae teg.
When I first began this endeavor I attempted to locate who the rightful claimant could be. My plan was to lend them my understanding of Welsh and international laws pertaining to de jure sovereignty so that things could be made right in Wales. The search led me to Evan Vaughn, who is a descendent of the House of Aberffraw with a well documented pedigree. Mr. Vaughn was born in Wales, lives in Wales and speaks Welsh, which ideally made him the perfect candidate for people to rally behind. However, after researching him further I was gutted to discover that he stated in interviews he “had no interest” in claiming the titles, and his son had “even less interest” than he did. (Rogers, Byron, “Three Journeys”, “Cambria Magazine” (June 2011), p.30-31) I think most people wanted the next pretender prince to have been born in Wales and fluent in Welsh, as I myself did. However, in over 600 years no one had stepped forward to do what needed to be done and what needed to be done was quite clear to me. I cannot speculate as to why no one else took up this position to finish this fight, but I can tell you from my personal experience this position comes with a great deal of scrutiny and criticism. My whole life I have always been a leader. I’ve studied leadership in university. Whether it was in sports, martial arts, the military, or in my professional life, I have always played the role of the leader. Leaders have to be thick skinned and deal with constant criticism. You have to be able to intelligently defend the decisions you make for your organization, and be able to explain them. Leaders have a birds-eye view of the issues, and when they see a problem they fix it. After discovering the titles were in abeyance and I had a right to claim them I sought out to do so. Elected leaders aside, leaders in other natural circumstances don’t ask to be the leader; they naturally fall into the position. Welsh monarchy is not elective and there is nothing in the Welsh laws to suggest that if the titles were ever in abeyance a conclave should be held to determine who the heir should be. On the contrary the laws on the “edling” or heir are very clearly detailed.
There are a plethora of reasons the titles needed to be taken out of abeyance. Firstly to harness the international legal powers for Wales available to a government-in-exile. To take back the rightful place as a free, sovereign, and independent nation. According to Phillip Marshall Brown, an international lawyer as he is quoted as stating in the “American Journal of International Law”, “There is no automatic extinction of nations. Military occupation may seem final and permanent, and yet prove to be only an interregnum, though a prolonged nightmare for the inhabitants. A nation is much more than an outward form of territory and government. It consists of the men and women in whom sovereignty resides. So long as they cherish sovereignty in their hearts their nation is not dead. It may be prostrate and helpless and yet revive. It is not to be denied the symbols or forms of sovereignty on foreign soil or diplomatic relations with other nations”.
I also sought out to protect the titles from anyone who would attempt to use them for improper reasons, rather than their true noble purposes. In 2007 a man claimed the fons honorum (fount of honor) and kingship to the Isle of Mann and immediately attempted to exchange noble titles for donations to a charity of his choice (David of Mann, Foxnews). I wanted to ensure Welsh titles and honors would be protected, respected, and reserved for individuals who demonstrate true noble and honorable characteristics, and contribute to Welsh culture and independence; not simply sold to the highest bidder.
Petition for name change: Tywysog Llywelyn Cymru
AmeriCymru: What can you tell us about recent legal developments in Japan?
Llywelyn: Well, there is not a court in the world that you can go to that can grant you a royal title or grant you sovereignty. However, courts can recognize facts in a case as a matter of law (international law). The jurist in the international arbitration in Tokyo recognized my possession of the incorporeal hereditaments as a fact in the matter, and a fact of law pertaining to Welsh, common, and international laws. Since my claim would preclude all other claims I was found to be the rightful owner of the incorporeal hereditaments and the powers that went with them.
These same legal facts were also presented and recognized in the United States Superior Court of California. In the petition for my name change my attorneys stated:
“…I have been found to have inherited incorporeal hereditaments and desire my name to reflect my new status.”
There is a widespread belief that in the United States citizens can change their names to just about anything they want, but there are several cases that have been denied on the assumption of a status or noble and royal titles. It is unlawful to change your name to one that could defraud another person.
Petition denied on the basis of a status:
"Courts similarly exhibit concern for members of the public in cases in which the names requested have the potential to confuse or mislead, even in the absence of nefarious intent. For example, in In re Thompson, the New York Superior Court denied a man's petition to change his name to Chief Piankhi Akinbaloye." (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 313)
Petition denied on the basis of nobility:
"In re Jama, 272 N.Y.S.2d 677 (Civ. Ct. 1966). The petitioner wanted to add "von" before Jama, because his father had told him that “von Jama” was their family name. Id. at 677. The court also noted that it chose to deny the petition because many Germans with "von" in their name were nobles (though the decision does not say that "von" was in fact a title)." (57 UCLA Law Review 313 (2009) pg. 317)
My final ruling from the California court reads, “…It appears to the satisfaction of the court that all the allegations in the petition are true and sufficient and that the petition should be granted. The court orders the name of Lawrence Jones changed to Tywysog Llywelyn Jones Cymru (Prince Llywelyn Jones of Cymru)". It is safe to state that Judge Sim von Kalinowski, who granted the final ruling, concurred with the reason for my name change as the inheritance of royal titles and the change in legal status. Pretender princes, also known as claimants to occupied or usurped thrones are sovereign subjects of public international law.
Subjects of International Law can be described as “those persons or entities that possess international personality”. Ultimately my petition for name change was deemed lawful because I could not be fraudulently impersonating myself. I am who I say I am.
Although now I do have two court orders recognizing my titles, international recognition does not stem from these court orders but rather from countries that adhere to international laws on governments in exile.
AmeriCymru: You believe that Wales is owed billions in reparations by the English government. What specifically do you believe that Wales is owed for? Care to speculate as to the total amount?
Llywelyn: Yes I do. Even by medieval standards Wales did not surrender, meaning there was never debellatio; which would have then made it acceptable under the standards of the time to annex Wales. Since that time Wales has maintained a separate national identity, despite overwhelming attempts to assimilate the culture. The maintenance of that culture and separate national identity has preserved the right to independence. The doctrine of “stole it fair and square” is not an acceptable one. They can try to argue that England annexed Wales by acquiescence after the publishing of the “Laws in Wales Act” but there is overwhelming historical evidence that shows that was a result of direct use of force or threat of force. The doctrine of “might does not make right” has been widely upheld in the modern world. King George VI even stated, “might is right is a primitive notion”. I believe that Wales is owed for centuries of unlawful occupation and subjugation. Owed for the suspension of the operations of the native government, self-determination is the right of every free nation. The act of the suspension of that right by one nation to another, simply in self-interest should lead to sanctions. I believe that Wales is owed for resources that have been removed, and for resources that continue to be removed.
Pertaining to the monetary amount Wales would receive as reparations it would really depend on where the line is drawn for how far back reparations would go. That is something both parties would have to agree on. Even without reparations I feel Wales will be in better shape when she is finally paid a fair price for the water, power, and other exports that are sent to England. The amount of financial aid that England currently supplies to Wales is far eclipsed by the amount of resources that England has been taking at no cost up until now. If Wales was really dragging down their economy they would have freed her long ago.
AmeriCymru: Do you have a legal strategy for reclaiming this money?
Llywelyn: Yes I do have a plan I am following. By re-establishing the native government and quieting the claims of others with the litigation and judgments I have received; I have made it to where the other side cannot deny the current state of the situation any longer.
According to the jurist Oppenheim, once sovereignty is recognized it cannot be withdrawn. External sovereignty cannot be recognized with the initial recognition of the government representing the State, and once recognition of sovereignty is granted it “is incapable of withdrawal”. Now that there is recognition of the reestablishment of this position, reclaiming reparations would happen in mediations with the UK or through sanctions with the United Nations.
AmeriCymru: Do you believe that Wales should pursue full independence?
Llywelyn: Of course I do, I most passionately do. I think that independence is far more important than reparations. There is not a price you could put on what independence will bring. Self-determination is the right of any free government. To be denied that right and to have to ask an invading neighbor for permission to perform normal acts of state is wrong. While at the same time that neighbor is removing your resources, working to eliminate your culture, leaving thousands of you to live in poverty, and teaching a false history about Wales in your schools. Wales was not always a principality, it was not always subjugated. Wales achieving independence corrects the wrongs of the past. It changes the story of our culture from one of being occupied and illegally annexed to one of perseverance and unwavering faith in the face of overwhelming odds. It changes the meaning of all the Edwardian castles in Wales from symbols of English conquest to symbols of the Welsh identity, endurance and overcoming. Freedom and independence for Wales justifies all of the lives that were sacrificed fighting in the pursuit thereof.
There are far too many reasons to mention why Wales should urgently pursue independence; but if only for one reason alone then, that the people of Wales were all born free, free to self-govern and free to self determination. Free to be free from an invading neighbor.