Now that Laetitia was back in United Kingdom, she decided it was time to return to Wales. When she first toured the UK, Wales had received “short shrift,” but having been there recently with her grandmother, she was ready to go back. She decided to start by arranging an underground tour of a former Welsh coal mine, now a mining museum called “Big Pit.” Welsh coal is high grade and close to the surface, and coal exports were an important segment of the economy of Wales for many years.
Afterward Laetitia’s group went to Cardiff, the capital and largest city in Wales, to Cardiff Castle. Located on the site of previous Roman and Norman defensive edifices, the present neo-Gothic structure was built during the Victrian era as a vacation home for John Stuart, Third Marquess of Bute. The Stuarts of Bute became wealthy developing the Welsh coal industry, and the Third Marquess lavished a significant portion of the family fortune on embellishing the castle with animal statuary and other fanciful decorations. The castle inspired the limerick of the day.
‘Tis said of the Marquess of Bute
That his fortune he soon did dilute
When he would with great relish
Cardiff Castle embellish
With creatures and other things cute.