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The flag of Wales
Wales (Welsh: Cymru) is one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, and often referred to as a Principality, although the Welsh Assembly Government say this is not correct.[1]

The Welsh equivalent of LGBT is "LHDT" (lesbiaidd, hoyw, deurywiol a thrawsryweddol).


The Anglo-Saxon invasions that led the the emergence of England did not penetrate into Wales, which therefore remained independent, different parts being ruled by petty kings (including Maelgwn, King of Gwynedd) and princes.

King Edward I, having conquered Wales, is said to have offered the people of Wales a prince who spoke no English, and fulfilled this promise by presenting to them at Caernarfon his son, the future Edward II, who was still a baby. Since then the title "Prince of Wales" has been regularly granted to the eldest son of the monarch.

Henry VIII's Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 brought the legal and administrative system in Wales in line with that in England. Since then England and Wales have mostly been treated as a single unit in legislation.

Devolution for Wales was rejected in a referendum in 1979 but approved in a second referendum in 1997. This led to the Government of Wales Act 1998, steered through Parliament by Welsh Secretary Ron Davies. As a result of the Act, Wales now has its own Welsh Assembly, although its powers are less than those of the Scottish Parliament.

Local government

Current administrative divisions of Wales
Historically Wales was divided into a number of counties and county boroughs. In 1972 these were all abolished and replaced with a system of eight new counties, each of which was divided into a number of districts.

In 1996 the counties were abolished for administrative purposes, and the districts reorganised to form 22 areas, equivalent to English unitary authorities. However the eight counties were retained for ceremonial purposes, and are now referred to as "preserved counties".

The current local government areas, variously designated as counties, county boroughs, or cities, are as follows (grouped by preserved county):


There are four police forces in Wales, each of them covering one or more of the preserved counties.

See Police for a map of the police areas.

In 2006 the Government proposed to merge the four forces to create a single force for Wales (as has since been done for Scotland) but this proposal, together with similar proposals for the English regions, was unpopular and soon abandoned.

LGBT resources

  • The LGBT Excellence Centre had a clickable Heritage Map of Wales with links to people and events in each of the 22 local government areas.[2]
  • FTM Wales is an information website focusing on the well-being of female to male transgender people in Wales.
  • Cymry Hoyw is a campaign to create a space for the LGBT community to socialise and communicate through the medium of Welsh.
  • SPLAG Wales is a self-help group based in Cardiff providing Support for Parents of Lesbians and Gay Men.


  1. Faq
  2. Heritage Map (dead link).
  3. Queer Cymru (dead link); archived version as at March 2014 with content up to 2011.