She married a prince, Albert II of Monaco. But it is a king that Charlene recently thanked on her Instagram account: Misuzulu KaZwelithini, new ruler of the Zulu people. Zoom on the privileged relationship of the Monegasque princess with the Zulu royal family.
“Thank you for your kindness and support.” Albert II of Monaco is no longer the only one “rock” of Charlene. Detained in South Africa for 7 months, known for the last time on October 8 and impatient to find her twins Jacques and Gabriella, the princess wanted to express his recognition to the new king of the Zulus, Misuzulu KaZwelithini, on his Instagram account, this October 17. The photo in which they appear side by side and which shows a very emaciated Charlene is not new, but Albert’s wife, who wants to be reassuring about her state of health, accompanies her by these very strong Zulu words: Bayede Nkosi, “Praise be to God” in English version.
The ex-South African swimmer has a good friend, Maxima from the Netherlands, within the European elite, but she maintains a privileged relationship with the royal family of the Zulus for years. Very close to King Goodwill Zwelithini, Charlene attended his funeral last March. While a request for paternity recognition overwhelms Albert for more than a year, the princess has also offered to play the mediators in the complicated succession of Goodwill Zwelithini.
King of Zulus reigns over 20% of South Africa’s population
The latter’s widow, Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini, held the regency, but she died a month after her husband. The only survivor among their boys, their youngest son Misuzulu was then named king, but several members of his family have challenged his new power. While he was hospitalized in July, rumors spoke of a attempted poisoning. Relations remain strained between the new sovereign, married in the spring, and his detractors within his clan. While awaiting the official coronation ceremony, King Misuzulu commands respect.
Representing 20% of the national population, the Zulu people are indeed the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Half of South Africans understand or speak the language of King Misuzulu. If Albert II of Monaco stands out as one of the wealthiest sovereigns in the world, far ahead of Elizabeth II, the financial power of the Zulu ruler, on the scale of the African continent and South Africa, is far from negligible.
The King of the Zulus is the head of a personal fortune estimated at 16 million euros and receives an annual pension of 5 million euros from the government
In 2020, Goodwill Zwelithini occupied the 10th position in the ranking of the richest African monarchs, with a fortune estimated at more than 16 million euros. For comparison, the average monthly salary is 600 euros in South Africa. Rich in hectares of farmland, head of cattle and land, the king of the Zulus perceives also an annual pension of 5 million euros from the government to support his family, on the model of the Sovereign Grant granted to Elizabeth II to finance the Windsors. It is more exactly the South African taxpayer who finances these 5 million euros annually.
Goodwill Zwelithini has long donated to the South African branch of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, which works on the spot, evidenced by its recent poaching awareness campaign. With her son Misuzulu, she has no doubts that she has another king of hearts who will not let her down.
Photo credits: Michael Alesi / Bestimage