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Royal Visits

Britain's Princess Margaret at the Swaziland Theatre Club, Mbabane
during King Sobhuza's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations - 1981

In recent times, Mbabane has had its share of pomp and ceremony.

The first of these was the visit of Great Britain’s Princess Alexandra and her husband Angus Ogilvy when they represented Queen Elizabeth II of Britain at the Independence Celebrations of 1968.

In 1981, when King Sobhuza’s diamond jubilee was celebrated, HRH Princess Margaret - also representing her sister Queen Elizabeth - stayed at the residence of the late Kal Grant on the Malagwane Hill. It was at Mbabane’s Swaziland Theatre Club that the London Shakespeare Company performed excerpts from "The Merchant of Venice" to mark the jubilee, an event which was attended by the British royal party as well as by senior Swazi dignitaries.

The following year, the Prince of Wales Oval (so named to mark the visit of Edward Prince of Wales in 1925) was the venue for Sobhuza’s 83rd and last birthday - he died shortly after that event. When he was succeeded by his son Prince Makhositive, who became King Mswati III in 1986, Prince Michael of Kent represented Queen Elizabeth at the coronation celebrations.

In 1987 HRH the Prince of Wales (Charles) visited Swaziland in his capacity as Chairman of the United World Colleges, of which Waterford Kamhlaba near Mbabane forms a part.

His sister The Princess Royal (Anne) also visited the country during the 1980’s as part of her duties as President of the Save the Children Fund.

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