n recent times, Mbabane has had its share of pomp and ceremony.
The first of these was the visit of Great Britains 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 Sobhuzas 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 Mbabanes 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 Sobhuzas 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 1980s as part of her duties as President of the Save the Children Fund.