Photos: Swaziland King chooses new 18-year old as 14th wife

imagesSwaziland’s King Mswati III has chosen an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant as his 14th wife.

According to his palace spokesman, the king has introduced to the nation his new liphovela (royal fiancee), 18 years old Sindiswa Dlamini.

The young woman graduated from Mbabane’s St. Francis High School last year and is a finalist in the Miss Cultural Heritage beauty pageant.

As part of Swazi custom, King Mswati III, 45, is permitted to choose a new bride every year.

Hence, thousands of young girls gather annually and dance for the king at a reed dance in order to give King Mswati III the opportunity to choose another wife.

The wedding only takes place once the chosen virgin bride falls pregnant.

His wives are kept in their palace, surrounded by bodyguards, and they can’t really go anywhere unless the king says so.

The only thing they do is go to America once a year, as the king gives them a shopping allowance.

The father of 27 children, 45-year-old King Mswati III was a guest at the William and Kate wedding as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last summer.

Three wives left his household in recent years. The latest, Queen LaGija, fled the palace in 2012 claiming years of physical and emotional abuse.

Another queen, LaDube, was reportedly abused after she was caught in bed with the justice minister, a close friend of the king.

Mswati had kidnapped and married the queen when she was 16 in 2005.

The king has also come under fire for his household’s lavish lifestyle.

Mswati reportedly has a personal fortune of around $200 million and the UN estimates that 70 percent of his 1.2 million subjects live below the poverty line.


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