Vanessa Cunningham has been researching the early twentieth-century parish magazines in the Llandaff Cathedral archives. She has found this sad tale.
The July 1907 edition of the parish magazine announced that King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were shortly to visit Cardiff to open a new dock (the Alexandra Dock), have lunch at the City Hall and then drive to Caerphilly. The parish authorities had suggested that their majesties might care to break their journey to Caerphilly with a visit to Llandaff and its venerable cathedral. Although this request had been rejected on the grounds of insufficient time, the route for the royal motorcade was revised to allow for a slow drive in an open car through the ancient city village.
Elated by this news, the Parish Council voted a sum of £25 to spend on welcoming the king and queen. Cardiff Road, High Street, the Green and Bridge Street were all to be adorned with patriotic decorations, and other private householders would add to the show with their own flags and banners. The children from the parish schools in the High Street were to be lined up on the pavement, singing the national anthem. The volunteer fire brigade prepared a special display of crossed ladders, with the motto 'Long Live the Peacemaker' upon it. It was to be a really special occasion.
However, the following month, the parish magazine recounted a disappointing end to the much anticipated day. The ceremonies at the dock had taken longer than planned. Lunch at the City Hall was delayed by half an hour, and the king, who hated unpunctuality, was greatly displeased. To make up time, the journey to Caerphilly was speeded up. And so the king, queen and Princess Victoria flashed through Llandaff in a closed car unseen by the assembled loyal crowds and singing children, and probably themselves totally unaware of the huge disappointment they had left behind them.