He rose to fame as a movie actor in the 2000s with starring roles in hit films including Frost/Nixon, The Damned United and The Queen.
But Michael Sheen has also made a name for himself in recent years becoming an outspoken Welsh nationalist on various issues, including the royal family.
In the latest intervention, he has been featured in a video about the renaming of the Brecon Beacons National Park after its Welsh counterpart, Bannau Brycheiniog, over fears of its association with a wood-burning, carbon-emitting burning beacon.
He said: ‘I am delighted to see them rise to their challenges and welcome the recovery of the old Welsh name, an old name for a new way of being.’
Michael Sheen explains in a video how the Brecon Beacons National Park will be renamed
One of the 53-year-old’s most recent controversies was when he claimed in November 2022 that the people of Wales want the Royal Family to give up the title of Prince of Wales because it has been used by the English as a “sign of dominance over a defeated country’. Welsh people’.
Sheen took a series of swipes at Prince William after meeting the England team and presented them with shirts for the World Cup in Qatar and wished them well.
The star said it was ‘inappropriate’ for William to give them England shirts as the Prince of Wales – a title he says should only be held by a Welshman.
William subtly hit back by insisting he will ‘support both teams’, but a source said he has been chairman of the Football Association of England since 2006 and is a fan. The insider said he felt it would appear “insincere” to suddenly change allegiances.
Sheen criticized the King’s visit to Cardiff on September 16 last year, on Owain Glyndŵr Day
Rugby star Sir Gareth Edwards backed William, insisting the heir apparent can support both England and Wales in Qatar – saying he would do the same.
Sheen also criticized King Charles III for visiting Cardiff on the same day last September as a medieval tradition to honor the last native Prince of Wales.
The actor said the journey of the king and queen consort on Owain Glyndŵr Day could be seen as “insensitive to the point of insulting.”
Because the trip fell on an important historical date, the Welsh actor said it could be seen as “insensitive” if the royals had chosen that date on purpose.
September 16 marks Owain Glyndŵr Day. On the same day in 1400, Glyndŵr began a 15-year rebellion against the then King of England, Henry IV, after which his followers would proclaim him Prince of Wales.
The rebellion is regarded as the last Welsh war of independence and Glyndŵr has since been seen as a figurehead of Welsh nationalism and the independence movement.
Normally thousands celebrate the life and legacy of the ‘rebellious’ Prince of Wales.
However, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last September, a number of Glyndŵr Day events were cancelled, leading to disappointment and anger in some communities, some of which hosted their events.
Sheen also described Prince William’s visit to England’s training center last November, where he handed them shirts for the World Cup in Qatar, as “completely inappropriate”.
Two years earlier in 2020, Sheen revealed that he had returned his OBE (Order of the British Empire) eight years after receiving it from the Queen, saying he wanted independence for his homeland.
The actor said he took the controversial step of not appearing hypocritical before giving a lecture on the history of his native Wales – including “past mistakes” committed by England “to break us, control us, subjects’.
The actor also said he gave up on exploring the “tortured history” his native Wales shares with the English and British states.
Speaking about his 2017 Raymond Williams talk, he told Guardian columnist Owen Jones: “By the time I finished writing that talk, I remember sitting there and saying, ‘Well, I’ve got a choice. I don’t teach this lecture and keep my OB, or I teach this lecture and have to return my OB.’
Sheen returned his BLE eight years after receiving it from the Queen in 2009 (pictured)
He also said he told Buckingham Palace at the time that he didn’t mean to be rude and that he felt “incredibly honored” to have received it in 2009.
And in 2017, Sheen split with American comedian and actress Sarah Silverman, revealing that their relationship had ended indirectly due to Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency.
The couple separated in December of that year after four years together.
He said they broke up because of the long distance – while he went back to the UK to explore why the British voted for Brexit, while Silverman chose to tour the US interviewing people in the wake of Trump becoming president .
Sheen said he and Silverman felt in “different ways” that they wanted to “get more involved” in the post-Brexit and Trump election political climate.