Ntfombi of Swaziland

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Ntfombi
Ndlovukati of Swaziland
Reign 25 April 1986 – present
Coronation 25 April 1986
Predecessor Dzeliwe As Regent
King Mswati III
Queen Regent of Swaziland
Reign 1983 – 24 April 1986
Predecessor Sobhuza II As King
Dzeliwe As Queen Regent
Successor Mswati III As King
Spouse Sobhuza II (until his death, in 1982)
Issue Mswati III
House House of Dlamini
Born c.1950 (age 64)

Ntfombi, Indlovukati of Swaziland (born c. 1950), has been the Indlovukati (Great She-Elephant) and Joint Head of State of Swaziland since 1986. She was also regent of Swaziland from 1983 to 1986. She was born Ntfombi Tfwala. She is the mother of King Mswati III.

In 1982 Two years prior to the death of Ntfombi's husband, King Sobhuza II, he had designated another of his wives, Queen Dzeliwe, as the Indlovukati, to reign as joint sovereign with his future successor. But instead of recognizing one of her sons as his heir apparent, he indicated to his Loqoqo that he wanted his son by Ntfombi, Prince Makhosetive Dlamini, to succeed him on the throne. In June 1982 he also extended the authority of the Loqoqo, empowering it to act as a "Supreme Council of State", free to appoint an "Authorised Person" to exercise the royal prerogative if a regent was deemed unable to do so properly. In the power vacuum that resulted from his death, Indlovukasi Dzeliwe became Queen Regent during the minority of the designated heir to the throne, but the Loqoqo, consisting mostly of King Sobhuza's senior relatives, chiefs and advisors, usurped her authority and sacked Sobhuza's prime minister, Prince Mabandla Dlamini, whom Loqoqo members apparently feared would strip them of their new role. Once Prince Makhosetive Dlamini attained his majority and officially became king, his mother would then be expected to be designated as the new Indlovukati.[1]

However, Queen Dzeliwe was placed under house arrest in 1983. Following a 9-day period during which Swaziland was ruled by Prince Sozisa Dlamini, Ntfombi was selected as queen regent.

In 1986, when he turned 18, Makhosetive was crowned King Mswati III. Upon becoming king, as was the custom, he declared his mother to be the Indlovukazi (a title roughly corresponding to Queen Mother, literally translated as Great She-Elephant) and, as such, Joint Head of State. As Queen Mother, Ntfombi is seen as the spiritual and national head of state, while her son is considered the administrative head of state.[2][3][4]

Ntombi laTwala's image has been widely disseminated in the West since her inclusion in Andy Warhol's portrait series during her exercise of the regency for her son, as one of four Reigning Queens, along with Queens Beatrix of the Netherlands, Margrethe II of Denmark and Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.[5]

Monarchical styles of
Queen Mother Ntombi of Swaziland
Coat of arms of Swaziland.svg
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Madame


References[edit]

  1. ^ Magongo, Ellen Mary. Kingship and Transition in Swaziland, 1973–1988. Master of Arts in History dissertation. University of South Africa. November 2009.
  2. ^ Swaziland's 40th anniversary bash hits sour note
  3. ^ "Key Facts about Swaziland". Television New Zealand. Reuters. September 19, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  4. ^ Swazi queen flies out after king falls ill
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times. Muchnic, Suzanne. The Art Galleries: Downtown. December 20, 1985.
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Queen Dzeliwe
(Queen Regent)
Queen Regent of Swaziland
1983–1986
Succeeded by
King Mswati III
(King)