Michael, who was born in Wales, “learnt a lot about Welsh history” while researching to give the prestigious Raymond Williams lecture. While doing research, he delved into the “tortured history” between Wales and England.
“By the time I’d finished writing that lecture, I remember sitting there going: ‘Well, I have a choice. I either don’t give this lecture and hold on to my OBE or I give this lecture and I have to give my OBE back’,” Michael told Guardian columnist Owen Jones. He is also calling for the title of the “Prince of Wales” to stop being given to the heir to the British throne.
Prince Charles currently holds the title and Michael said it would be “really meaningful and powerful gesture for that title to no longer be held in the same way as it has before, that would be an incredibly meaningful thing I think to happen.” According to the Guardian, “English king Edward I created and gave [that title] to his son in 1301 as part of his subjugation of the Welsh principalities.”
Michael added, “I didn’t mean any disrespect but I just realized I’d be a hypocrite if I said the things I was going to say in the lecture about the nature of the relationship between Wales and the British state.”
We’ve included photos of Michael receiving the honor at Buckingham Palace on June 2, 2009 with his daughter Lily and partner at the time, ballet dancer Lorraine Stewart. (If you don’t know, find out who Lily’s famous mom is!)