The naming of Prince William as the new Prince of Wales by King Charles III has not gone down well with thousands of Welsh citizens.

The King announced Prince William's new title during his first speech as monarch. "Today, I am proud to create him Prince of Wales, Tywysog Cymru," said Charles, in a move that is being opposed by several thousand people.

More than 18,000 people have signed a petition calling for the abolition of the title, stating that it "has been held exclusively by Englishmen as a symbol of dominance over Wales."

The Prince of Wales was the highest title used for royalty in Wales, and it was originally used by Welsh native princes until the 14th century.

Dafydd ap Gruffydd was the last native Prince of Wales who was executed on the orders of Edward I of England in 1283.

King Edward I went on to name his 16-year-old son Edward II the Prince of Wales in 1301. Since then, the title has been used traditionally by the heirs to the English throne.

Charles was given the title in 1958 by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. The king was only nine years old when he was bestowed with the title. He was made Prince of Wales in a ceremony at Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd, in 1969.

Queen Elizabeth II made her eldest son the 21st Prince of Wales. His investiture took place in 1969
Queen Elizabeth II made her eldest son the 21st Prince of Wales. His investiture took place in 1969

The title has always been controversial, and the naming of Prince Williams as the new Prince of Wales has again stoked a debate on the issue.

"The title remains an insult to Wales and is a symbol of historical oppression and also implies that Wales is still a principality, undermining Wales' status as a nation and a country," reads the petition.

"Why not change that as we come to this moment where things will inevitably change," ask the petitioners.

Adam Price, the leader of the Welsh nationalist political party Plaid Cymru, has also expressed his disappointment over the development, but he maintained that there will only be a discussion on the issue once the mourning period is over.

"There will be time, in due course, for a public debate surrounding the title of the Prince of Wales," The Guardian quoted him as saying.

"It is Plaid Cymru's long-held view that it should be the people's democratic right to have a final say on this matter in an independent Wales. For now, Plaid Cymru's thoughts are with the royal family as they grieve," added Price.

King Charles III
King Charles III has waited nearly his whole life to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II POOL via AFP / TOBY MELVILLE