The first mention of a Wales herald was in the 1390s,when payments were recorded to John Heryng in 1393 and 1394,as Wales herald or John Wales. In about 1401 he became Percy herald,and in 1403 Shrewsbury herald. There was no Prince of Wales in the 1390s,but it has been suggested that Richard II intended that he should eventually be attached to the Prince's household. There are no further references to a Wales herald until this century.

Major Francis Jones (born 1908) was appointed Wales Herald Extraordinary in 1963,in anticipation of the creation of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales,which took place in 1969. Major Jones died in December 1993. Among his publications were: An Approach to Welsh Genealogy(1948); The Holy Wells of Wales (1954); The Princes and Principality of Wales (1969); (jointly) Royal and Princely Heraldry in Wales (1969); Historic Carmarthenshire Homes and their Families (1987); A catalogue of Welsh Manuscripts in the College of Arms (1988); and many articles on heraldic and family history,especially on families of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.

Dr Michael Siddons (born 1928) was appointed Wales Herald Extraordinary in November 1994. The Welsh form of the title,Herodr Arbennig Cymru,was recorded at the College of Arms in January 1995. His publications include: The Development of Welsh Heraldry(1991-3); Visitations by the Heralds in Wales(1996); Welsh Pedigree Rolls (1996); The Visitation of Herefordshire 1634 (2002) and articles on heraldic and genealogical subjects.

Wales Herald Extraordinary,like the other heralds extraordinary,is not a member of the College of Arms,whose officers hold fulltime appointments. They are,however,made welcome at the College,and can do research there. They take part in state occasions such as the State Opening of Parliament by the Sovereign, and the Garter Ceremony at Windsor,which take place each year,and at the coronation or funeral of the Sovereign. Wales Herald Extraordinary may occasionally appear on his own,as on the occasion of the Queen's visit to St.David's to present the City Charter in 1995,and on certain other occasions in Wales. In addition he may be asked to give advice on Welsh matters to the officers of arms at the College.

The officers of arms are appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Duke of Norfolk, who is Earl Marshal and has authority over the heralds. All officers of arms extraordinary, except Wales, bear titles belonging to the Duke of Norfolk, such as Norfolk,Arundel,etc. Wales attachment to the Principality of Wales is exemplified by the fact that the administration of his appointment is the responsibility of the Welsh Office, whereas the Home Office deals with all other appointments.

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