The titles King and Queen are not and have not just been for Europeans, over the centuries. There are Kings and Queens from all over this globe. Many African countries still have seated royals to this day. One such couple has a fairy tale, whirlwind, romantic courtship story, similar to that of Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly. Let me introduce you to King Ronald and Queen Sylvia of Buganda (Uganda).
While I couldn’t find out much about her tiaras (why??? I’d love to know more about each of them), I was able to read about their courtship. A couple of decades ago now, there was an envoy dispatched to find the young King a suitable wife. James Mulwana and Dr. William Kalema brought several young women to meet him, but he declined each of them. It wasn’t until a trip to the United Kingdom that he found his bride. Sylvia was there watching a game with the royal delegation and was spotted by the Kabaka (the Ugandan word for King).
The King told the Kattikiro (the Ugandan word for Prime Minister) that she was the one and she was to be invited to breakfast with them, so that he could get to know her better. He later called to have him come meet her, but she had just retuned home to the UK, after visiting Uganda. She tried to explain that she could lose her job if she returned to Uganda so quickly. But you know how insistent and persuasive Kings can be. 🙂 He asked if they could meet for just two hours. So, back to Uganda she went.
However, there was a catch. The King hadn’t really made his intentions clear to her. She phoned the Prime Minister. “I received a phone call from Nagginda asking if I had an idea about what the Kabaka wanted to tell her. It turns out, he had not yet made his intentions clear so I convinced her that whatever it was, it had to be good news.” Once on the ground, Sylvia was accompanied by her father and some other relatives to the royal palace in Banda to meet with the King. It was only then that the Prime Minister announced to everyone, on behalf of the King, that Sylvia was the woman he intended to make his Queen. The committee to organize the wedding was then off and running, headed by the Prime Minister himself and the couple was wed on August 27, 1999.
According to The Global Philanthropy Forum’s website, the Queen, “is a traditional and cultural leader of the people of Buganda, the largest Kingdom in Uganda occupying almost a quarter of the country with a population exceeding 7 million people, which is equivalent to 25% of the total population. Her Royal Highness is the first Nnabagereka (Queen) in the history of the Buganda Kingdom to set up a fully-fledged Office, a very crucial phenomenon that has greatly complimented the ongoing development work in the Kingdom and Uganda at large.”
Queen Sylvia of Buganda, “carries out charity work for and through the institution of the Kingdom of Buganda, international, national and local organizations and the Nnabagereka Development Foundation (NDF) which she founded in 2000. HRH works for children, youth and women through the Foundation’s support for socio-economic development initiatives including education, health care, community empowerment and the advancement of good cultural values and practices. The Nnabagereka is a Good Will Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uganda, a Torch Bearer for the Millennium Development Goals; Ambassador for Mama Club — an initiative of mothers living with HIV/AIDS; a Champion in the Campaign to End Pediatric HIV/AIDS (CEPA) in Uganda. She is also a core member of the African Philanthropy Forum and an Advisory Board member of the Global Thinkers Forum.”
A whirlwind royal romance. A fairytale wedding. A life spent working to better her country and its people. And some lovely tiaras to top it all off? Queen Sylvia of Buganda sounds like my kind of royal! I’m curious, which tiara of hers is your fav? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.