She married a prince, Albert II of Monaco. But it is a king that Charlene recently thanked on her Instagram account: Misuzulu KaZwelithini, the 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 Charlene’s only “rock.” Held in South Africa for 7 months, operated on one last time on October 8 and eager to be reunited with her twins Jacques and Gabriella, the princess made a point of expressing her gratitude to the new king of the Zulus, Misuzulu KaZwelithini, on her Instagram account, this October 17. The photo on which they appear side by side and which shows a very thin Charlene is not new, but Albert’s wife, who wants to reassure about his health, accompanies it with these very strong Zulu words: Bayede Nkosi, “God be praised” in French version.
The former South African swimmer has a good friend, Maxima of the Netherlands, in the European elite, but she has had a special relationship with the Zulu royal family for years. Very close to King Goodwill Zwelithini, Charlene attended his funeral last March. While a request for recognition of paternity has plagued Albert for over a year, the princess has also offered to mediate in the complicated succession of Goodwill Zwelithini.
The king of the Zulus rules over 20% of the South African population
His widow, Queen Shiyiwe Mantfombi Dlamini, was the regent, but she died a month after her husband. The only survivor among their sons, their youngest son Misuzulu was then appointed king, but several members of his family challenged his new power. While he was hospitalized in July, there were rumors of an attempted poisoning. Relations remain tense between the new king, who was married in the spring, and his critics within his clan. While waiting for the official coronation ceremony, King Misuzulu commands respect.
Representing 20% of the national population, the zulu people are the largest ethnic group in South Africa. Half of the South Africans understand or speak the language of King Misuzulu. If Albert II of Monaco is one of the richest sovereigns in the world, far ahead of Elizabeth II, the financial power of the Zulu sovereign, on the scale of the African continent and South Africa, is far from negligible.
The Zulu king has 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 an estimated fortune of over 16 million euros. For comparison, the average monthly salary in South Africa is 600 euros. Rich in hectares of farmland, livestock and property, the Zulu king also receives an annual pension of 5 million euros from the government to support his family, similar to the Sovereign Grant given to Elizabeth II to finance the Windsors. More precisely, it is 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 locally, as evidenced by its recent poaching awareness campaign. With her son Misuzulu, she has no doubt that she has another king of heart who won’t let her down.
Photo credits: Michael Alesi/Bestimage