Harry Potter and the Welsh Tourism Board
The Western Mail reports that Welsh politicians have been trying to find a way to capitalize on the international popularity of the magical franchise, filmed in part on their coast and written by a former resident. The creepy beach home visible in the trailer for Deathly Hallows was constructed in Pembrokeshire, Wales, much to the surprise and confusion of local residents and the pleasure of tourism officials.
JK Rowling herself was raised, at least in part, in Chepstow, Monmouthshire - she attended Wyedean Comprehensive and took chemistry classes from John Nettleship, who inspired the character of Snape - but the county council's attempt to rebrand their area as Harry Potter Country was rejected by agents who took pointed out the famous author's name is trademarked.
No matter. Wales, which derives roughly 10% of its GDP from tourism, is determined to remind both visitors to the U.K. and residents that it exists and that it is very pretty. The VisitWales website points out that the country boast 3 million people, 11 million sheep and 1 "Very Happy Royal Couple" - as though anyone still cared about Charles. The tourism board is also engaged in some cross-branding with the Starz show Camelot, about King Arthur, who would probably take the title for world's most famous Welshman.
It isn't quite Harry Potter, but between Arthur and Charles they do have a once and a future king.
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