Aberfan wives say Queen ‘came at the right time’ after disaster

·3-min read

The wives of Aberfan have said the late Queen “came at the right time” as they paid tribute to the “mother” who visited the disaster.

Denise Morgan and Gloria Davies, members of the Aberfan Wives group, told the PA news agency the monarch had made “quite a bond” with the mining village.

The women had been invited to Cardiff Castle as the King and Queen Consort met military personnel and faith leaders during a reception as part of their final engagement in Wales on Friday.

Queen Elizabeth II death
King Charles III meeting members of the public as he leaves Cardiff Castle in Wales (Ben Birchall/PA)

Addressing the late Queen’s connection to Aberfan, Ms Morgan said: “In terms of the Queen, she visited Aberfan just after the disaster and four other times after that, I believe – each one for a different reason.

“We were fortunate to meet her on a number of occasions and I think throughout the years she has made quite a bond with Aberfan, particularly with the parents.”

Speaking during a reception in the Banqueting Hall of Cardiff Castle on Friday, the women said they believed Charles would change the monarchy to “make it a bit more modern”.

Asked if Charles would continue the relationship with the village, Ms Morgan: “He will continue that bond with Aberfan and the people of Aberfan – particularly the wives’ group.

Aberfan disaster 50th anniversary
The Prince of Wales signs a book of condolence during a reception for families and survivors at Aberfan in 2016 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

“I think he’s going to change the monarchy and make it a bit more modern – because he’s that sort of person.

“He’s a people’s person as well.”

Ms Davies added: “I think he’s going to be a good King because people haven’t seen another side to him yet, but we have. He likes a bit of banter.”

Commenting on what the Queen meant to her, Ms Morgan told PA: “I thought she was a wonderful Queen.

“Looking at the footage now, she smiled every time. Even in the photographs, she’s always smiling.

“She made a pledge to be our Queen all those years ago and I really think she kept to that commitment, even up until two days before she died.

“To actually meet the Prime Minister and work almost up until the last, it’s a fine testament to her.”

Asked about the Queen’s reaction to the Aberfan disaster, Ms Morgan said: “I don’t think she came as the Queen, I think she came as a mother too.

“Because she looked around and she could see the devastation and the look on people’s faces.

“I really do believe she came as a mother that day, to sympathise and empathise with the terrible tragedy that happened in Aberfan.”

Ms Davies added: “Everyone who was saying ‘she didn’t come to Aberfan’ – she came at the right time, she came at the right time.

“I think that’s shared by the whole of Aberfan.”