South Africa doesn’t have one king with one queen and a couple of princes or princesses. We have eleven official languages so we have a good few monarchies related to those ethnic groups. And some of those monarchies are powerful. If King Goodwill Zwelethini puts his weight behind a political candidate it makes a difference. Something Jacob Zuma was mindful of when he campaigned during the last elections.

A few months back president Zuma stepped in to put an end to half of the monarchies which are supported by local tax payers. Of the thirteen royal families only seven will now be officially recognised.

The kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland which both lie within South Africa have their own royalty too. Prince Seeiso appears in UK mags like Hello with his pal Prince Harry. And Harry pops in to visit in Lesotho. As princes do.

My favorite is the Modjadji Rain Queen. She is only ever a queen. Males cannot succeed her. She never appears in public and her “wives” take care of her. The elders select a few males for her to mate with so the lineage can continue. Usually relatives. And she brings rain to the region so she is a very special woman. Apparently the Rain Queen was the inspiration for a J. Rider Haggard novel. Now how many monarchies have a story like that?

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