A Wales Tale: Ann Romney's Ancestral Homecoming

Image credit: Wales News Service/Splash

Ann Romney spent the weekend exploring her roots, traveling from London where she watched her dressage trainer Jan Ebeling and horse Rafalca perform last week, to southern Wales.

On Saturday afternoon she watched a performance of the Bois Goetre-Hen a'r Cylch Male Choir at St Cynwyds Church in Llangynwyd, according to the choir secretary Richard Howells.

Ann Romney's grandfather, David Davies, was a coal miner from Nantyffyllon, Wales, who immigrated to Detroit in 1929. Both Romney and her husband, the presumptive GOP nominee, often mention Davies' struggles on the campaign trail in an effort to connect with the audience and to dispel Democrats' attacks that Mitt Romney is out of touch with ordinary people.

The choir, whose name translates as Boys of Coytrahen and District, performed the famous Welsh hymn Gwahoddiad and other "inspiring numbers," according to Howell, as well as some American tunes from the Eagles, including "Desperado." The choir is made up of 21 singers between the ages of 25 and 84.

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Howells said Romney became emotional when the choir sang her favorite Welsh hymn, Cwm Rhondda. After the performance Howells jokingly said to the first lady-hopeful that the choir would love to perform for her again on the White House lawn in January. The choir secretary said Romney replied, "Wouldn't that be just grand."

Romney was then presented with an engraved plaque made of Welsh slate and a framed poem titled "In Passing" by Welsh poet Brian Harris, all of which reminded Romney of her "Welshness." The poem is about what it means to be Welsh.

"This really is the highlight of my visit, thank you all so very much, you were wonderful," Romney said, according to Howell, before she returned to her hotel in Cardiff.

Romney also gave an interview to NBC News at an 850-year-old pub, the Old House.

Old House landlord Richard Stephens-David told BBC News that lunch would be "Welsh-themed."

"Welsh rarebit, rack of lamb, wild mushroom and pea risotto. We'll have a Welsh cheese board for afterwards," Stephens-David said, adding Welsh cakes are on the menu as well. Romney has made the local delicacy on the campaign trail.

Ebeling and Rafalca perform again Tuesday and then possibly again on the ninth, the final day of the Olympics dressage competition.