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The Princes of Gwynedd were created as the senior Princes of the Tripartite principality system introduced by King Owain V.
In 1487, by the Statute of Harlech, the three principalities of Gwynedd, Powys and Morgannwg were restored to political life. The King needed a strong base to provide financial security for the crown. To that end, historic Gwynedd was held for the Crown. The resurrected Gwynedd stretched from the Llyn Peninsula in the west to the English border in the east, encompassing almost the entireity of the old historic Gwynedd.
The Principality was held in union with the Welsh Crown, so that all monarchs from Owain V would be Princes of Gwynedd within the Federalistic Monarchy as well as being his own liege lord in the person of the King. In practice the rule of the Principality was devolved to the Prince's Household, headed by the Distain of Gwynedd and occasionally to the King's son, should he he old enough for such duties prior to his eventual ascension to the Welsh throne.
The House of Glyndwr would continue to hold this Principality up to the modern era even though they are no longer also monarches of Wales. Indeed, today descendants of Owain V continue to rule both the Tripartite Principalities and Wales. The House of MacGregor-Glyndwr still rules in Gwynedd, the House of Powys-Fadog, a cadet branch of the House of Glyndwr rules in Powys (descendants of Owain V's younger son, Maredudd 1st Prince of Powys). Even the House of Oldenburg-Morgannwg which rules both Wales and Morgannwg is descended from Owain through the Gwenllian, daughter of Hywel IV and mother of Rhisiart I.
The Fall of Wales in 1718 saw the begining of the end for the connection between Gwynedd and the Crown. With the death of the last king of the House of Dehunbarth (Rhys) the Principalitity of Gwynnedd passed to the descendants of his GG Uncle, Gruffud, Lord of Aberffraw whilst the Crown of Wales was voted to Rhisiart of Morgannwg by the Council in exile. With the restoration of Welsh Independence, the House of MacGregor-Glyndwr lost the position of pre-eminence within Welsh nobility, descended as they now were from a younger branch than the House of Powys.
The numbering of the Princes of the Tripartite are accorded as of New Creation so do not take account of Princes of those lands before the 1487 Statute.
Princes of Gwynedd - House of Glyndwr
- Owain I of Gwynedd 1487-1490 (Also Owain V of Wales)
- Hwyel I of Gwynedd 1490-1512 (Also Hywel I of Wales)
- Hwyel II of Gwynedd 1512-1545 (Also Hywel II of Wales)
- Rhodri I of Gwynedd 1545-1554 (Also Rhodri of Wales)
- Elen I. Princess of Gwynedd 1554-1598 (Also Elen, Queen of Wales)
Princes of Gwynedd - House of MacGregor-Glyndwr
- Marc of Gwynedd - Joint rule with Elen 1578-1600 (Also Marc of Wales)
- Mari, Dowager Princess of Gwynedd 1600-1616 - Wife of Marc
- Dafydd I of Gwynedd 1616-1648 (Also Dafydd IV of Wales)
- Hywel III of Gwynedd 1648-1683 (Also Hywel III of Wales)
- Hywel IV of Gwynedd 1683-1706 (Also Hywel IV of Wales)
- Dafydd II of Gwynedd 1706-1718 (Also Dafydd V of Wales)
- Rhys I of Gwynedd 1718-1750 (Also Rhys of Wales - Both titles held in Exile)
Princes of Gwynedd - House of MacGregor-Glyndwr (Restored Line)
- Owain II of Gwynedd 1750-1778 (Title held in Exile)
- Gruffud I of Gwynedd 1778-1788 (Title held in Exile)
- Rhys II of Gywnedd 1788-1808 (Son of Iorwerth MacGregor-Glyndwr, brother of Owain II)
- Maredudd I of Gwynedd 1808-1832
- Rhys III of Gwynedd 1832-1852 (Led the Gwynedd Forces in the Civil War 1843-1849)
- Gruffud II of Gwynedd 1852-1887
- Rhys IV of Gwynedd 1887-1921
- Owain III of Gwynedd 1921-1937
- Owain IV of Gwynedd 1937-1941
- Iolo I of Gwynedd 1941-1944 (Brother of Owain III)
- Owain V of Gwynedd 1944-1992
- Gwenllian I Princess of Gwynedd 1992-Present
- Iorwerth, Edling Gwynedd
The Princely Seat of Garth Celyn
The official residence of the Princes of Gwynedd is the palace of Garth Celyn. The major rebuilding of the Palace first dates from the reign of Prince Marc and his Hapsburg wife, the Princess Mary. She ordered the first major rebuilding work at the site and this continued over the years.
During the period of the grand reconstruction in the reign of Dafydd V, the Palace was almost entirely rebuilt in a new style. The English Occupation delayed the completion of this work which was completed by Maredudd of Gwynedd.