Ray Gravell first achieved fame as a member of the great Welsh rugby team of the 1970s. After his playing career was over he moved into the national media, working as an actor and a broadcaster. This article examines obituaries and other newspaper accounts after the death of Gravell and the ways in which celebrity is consumed and (re)presented. It looks at cultures of commemoration in both the mourning and the celebration of this figure and analyzes how the past and the present are (re)presented in a complex interplay of imagining the nation. In an analysis informed by social identities research it explores Gravell’s symbolic significance and positions him as the last Prince of Wales.
The author is with the Dept. of Business Management, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland.