last modified: 1 January 2019
The state is known as Umbuso Weswatini in its national language. This means the Kingdom of eSwatini. The country is reigned by the Dlamini dynasty.
According to its constitution eSwatini is a unitary, sovereign, democratic Kingdom. According to international standards the country is an absolute monarchy. Swaziland was a British protectorate from 1902 to 1968. It became an independent country on September 6th, 1968. eSwatini is a member of the Commonwealth. On 19 April 2018 the Gazette of Swaziland officially announced the name change of the country from the Kingdom of Swaziland to the Kingdom of eSwatini, or Eswatini at most Swazi websites write.
The founder of the royal family is Dlamini I, who is the first known King of Swaziland. He was a member of the Bembo-Nguni tribe that left the Cape to explore the region which is now eSwatini in 1723. He was succeeded by (among others) Mswati I, Ngwane II, Dlamini II, Nkosi II, Mavuso I, Magudulela, Ludvonga, Dlamini III, Ngwane III, Ndvungunye, Sobhuza I, Mswati II, Ludvonga II, Mbandzeni, Ngwane V, Sobhuza II and Mswati III. King Sobhuza II died in 1982, after a nominal reign of 82 years and 9 months (of which 21 years unter regency).
The current sovereign is Mswati III (Makhosetive) King of eSwatini. He was born at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital, Swaziland, on 19 April 1968.
He is the son of King Sobhuza II of Swaziland (1899-1982) and his wife Ntombi laTfwala (ca. 1950), who is the present Indlovukazi (Queen Mother).
Mswati III succeeded his father as soon as he had turned 18 years old.
The coronation took place on 25 April 1986.
The King’s motto is Siyinqaba which means We are the fortress.
The King is a Christian.
Marriage and descendants
In eSwatini it is allowed to have several wifes. The first two wives of a Swazi king are chosen for him by the national councillors. These two wives have special functions in rituals and their sons can never claim kingship. The first wife must be a member of the Matsebula clan, the second of the Motsa clan. A king can only marry his fiancées after they have become pregnant. Until then they are brides (liphovela). After the marriage they will be known as “Inkhosikati”. The King is expected to marry a woman from every clan in order to cement relationships with each part of eSwatini. The wives are often chosen at the traditional yearly reed dance (Umhlanga). He can thus have many wives. King Mswati’s wifes and brides are:
1. (Queen) LaMatsebula – ritual wife.
2. LaMotsa – ritual wife
3. (1986) LaMbikiza (1969) née Sibonelo Mngomezulu
4. (1987) LaNgangaza née Carol Dlamini (1970/71)
5. LaHwala née Putsoana Hwala (1974) – left the king in 2004
6. LaMagwaza née Delisa Magwaza (ca. 1974) – left the king in 2004
7. (2000) LaMasango née Senteni Masango (ca. 1981-2018)
8. (1998) LaGija née Angel Dlamini (ca. 1979) – rumoured to have left the king in 2012
9. (2002/2005 LaMagongo née Nontsetselo Magongo (1985)
10. (2002) LaMahlangu née Zena Soraya Mahlangu (1984). A traditional wedding seems to have taken place in 2010 only.
11. (2005) LaNtentesa née Noliqhwa Ayanda Ntentesa (1981)
12. (2005) LaDube née Nothando Dube (1988), left in November 2011
13. (2007) LaNkambule née Phindile Nkambule (1988)
14. (2014) LaFogiyane née Sindiswa Dlamini (1995)
(bride 2007) Colile Nosipho Magagula “Titi” (1989)
(bride 2017) Siphelele Mashwama (ca. 1998)
Their children (the list might be incomplete):
(by 1) Prince Sicalo Dlamini
(by 1) Prince Maveletiveni Dlamini
(by 2) Prince Majahonkhe Dlamini (1991)
(by 2) Prince Lusuku Dlamini
(by 2) Prince Sinawonkhe Dlamini
(by 2) Prince Buhlebenkhosi Dlamini (1997)
(by 3) Princess Sikhanyiso Dlamini (1987)
(by 3) Prince Lindaninkosi “Lindani” Dlamini (1989)
(by 3, adopted) Prince Makhosini “Oman” Dlamini (1991), son of Phindiwe Rita Dlamini
(by 4) Princess Temaswati Dlamini (1988)
(by 4) Princess Tiyandza Dlamini (1992)
(by 4) Princess Tebukhosi Dlamini (1994)
(by 4) Princess Mazwezulu Dlamini (2012)
(by 5) Prince Bandzile Dlamini (1990)
(by 5) Princess Temashayina Dlamini (1994)
(by 5) Princess Sibahle Dlamini (1996)
(by 6) Princess Temtsimba Dlamini (1992), married 2017 Michael Schofield. Issue: Tiyabusa (2017)
(by 6) Princess Sakhizwe Dlamini (1999)
(by 7) Princess Sentelweyinhosi Dlamini (2000)
(by 7) Princess Sibusezweni Dlamini (2003)
(by 8) Princess Yenziwe Dlamini (2003)
(by 9) Prince Mcwasho Dlamini (2002)
(by 10) Prince Saziwangaye Dlamini (2004)
(by 11) Princess Sabusiswa Dlamini (2012)
(by 12) Princess Makhosothando Dlamini (2005)
(by 12) Prince Betive Dlamini (2007)
(by 12) Princess Mahlemalangeni (2009)
(by 13) Princess Buhlebetive Dlamini (2007)
(by 13) Princess Nikudumo Dlamini (2009)
(by 13) Princess Mphilwenhle Dlamini (2012)
(by 13) Prince Mehluli Dlamini
(by 14) Princess Ntsandvweni Dlamini (2015)
(by 14) Princess … Dlamini (2017)
Heir to the throne
No heir to the throne has been appointed as far as I know.
The King (iNgewenyama) is a symbol of unity and the eternity of the Swazi nation. The succession to the throne is hereditary. The crown prince, or Umntfwana, can only accede the throne when he has reached the age of eighteen years. The King traditionally must reign together with his mother, the Ndlovukazi. The Ndlovukazi is acting as Queen Regent in case of absence from eSwatini or any other cause of unability of the king to perform his functions. The Ndluovukazi is assisted and advised by the Umntfwanenkhosi Lomkhulu-in-Libandla (senior prince), who heads the king’s advisory council.
The King’s successor can only be appointed by a special traditional council, Liqoqo, and can not be chosen by the King himself. The Liqoqo also decides which wife will be the Indlovukazi. Her son will automatically become the next king. The Indlovukazi has to be of good standing and can’t be a Nkosi-Dlamini or a ritual wife. She preferably has only one son.
There are two royal residences, the one of the king and the one of the Ndlovukazi. The residence of the king is the administrative headquarters. The residence of the Ndlovukazi (umphakatsi) is the national capital and the spiritual and ceremonial home of the nation. Here the important national events take place.
The Kings of eSwatini (Swaziland)
|Sobhuza II (1899-1982)||1921/68-1982|
|Queen Dzweile (regent)||1982-1983|
|Prince Sozisa Dlamini (regent)||1983-1983|
|Queen Ntombi (regent)||1983-1986|
|Mswati III (1968- )||1986-|