Historically, the relationship between the two nations has been one of English incursions and Welsh resentment, from King Edward I’s invasion of Wales in the 13th century to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s war on striking Welsh coal-miners in the 1980s. Today, Wales answers to the British government in London, although it was given a degree of political autonomy by the creation of the Welsh Assembly in 1999. “Wales is administratively part of England and so Welsh national identity is a rather contested area,” Huw Richards, a Welsh journalist and academic, told AFP. “An awful lot of Welsh national identity is tied into the relationship with England and is about not being England, being different.”
Ahead of their Euro 2016 clash in Lens on Thursday, I’ve written something on the rivalry between England and Wales. You can read it here.