Dr Christine James, Senior Lecturer at Academi Hywel Teifi, Swansea University, will be the next Archdruid of Wales between 2013 and 2016.

The news was announced by the current Archdruid, Jim Parc Nest at the Proclamation Ceremony for the 2013 Denbighshire and District National Eisteddfod over the weekend.

Dr Christine James 4

Dr Christine James was admitted to the Gorsedd of Bards in 2002, and has been a member of the Gorsedd Board since 2010. Christine will not only be the first woman to hold the post, but also the first Archdruid to have wholly learned Welsh as a second language.

She was born in Tonypandy in the Rhondda Valley, and brought up in an English-speaking family. After learning Welsh as a second language at the Rhondda County School for Girls, Porth, she proceeded to study Welsh at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.

She won the Crown at the Eryri and District National Eisteddfod in 2005, for her collection of poems, ‘Lluniau Lliw’, inspired by some of the most famous works of art at National Museum Cardiff. 

Dr Christine James said: ‘‘Being Archdruid will be a great privilege and I look forward to fulfilling the role from next June onwards. Being both the first woman and Welsh learner to hold the post gives me an added personal thrill. I hope that this will inspire learners across Wales to keep at it and master the language.’’

Picture by the National Eisteddfod of Wales