Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho

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Moshoeshoe II
Moshoeshoe II van Lesotho.jpg
King of Lesotho
Reign4 October 1966 – 12 November 1990
PredecessorHimself as Paramount Chief
SuccessorLetsie III
Reign25 January 1995 – 15 January 1996
PredecessorLetsie III
SuccessorLetsie III
Born(1938-05-02)2 May 1938
Morija, Basutoland (now Lesotho)
Died15 January 1996(1996-01-15) (aged 57)
Maloti Mountains, Lesotho
SpouseTabitha 'Masentle Lerotholi Mojela
Letsie III
Prince Seeiso Bereng Seeiso
Princess Constance Christina 'Maseeiso
Full name
Constantine Bereng Seeiso
FatherSimon Seeiso Griffith

Moshoeshoe II (May 2, 1938 – January 15, 1996), previously known as Constantine Bereng Seeiso, was the paramount chief of Lesotho, succeeding paramount chief Seeiso from 1960 until the country gained full independence from Britain in 1966. He was king of Lesotho from 1966 until his exile in 1990, and from 1995 until his death in 1996.

Early life[edit]

The young Seeiso was educated at the Roma College in Lesotho, then (apparently fleeing rumours that his stepfather planned to poison him) was sent to England, first to Ampleforth College and later to Corpus Christi College, Oxford.[3] While there, he took to the life of an English country gentleman, including hunting, shooting, and fishing.[3]


Moshoeshoe's political power was always limited, and his reign was interrupted twice. Early in his reign, Leabua Jonathan became Prime Minister of Lesotho and gained control of the government. Jonathan suspended Moshoeshoe in 1970 in order to reestablish his control in the country after his party lost the election. Moshoeshoe went into temporary exile in the Netherlands. A few months later, when he gained control, Jonathan allowed Moshoeshoe to reassume the title of king. Jonathan was himself overthrown in 1986 and the king gained some power, but he was deposed in 1990, while his son Letsie III was forced to take his place as king. Moshoeshoe went to exile in the United Kingdom. Moshoeshoe was restored to the throne in 1995. The following year he was killed in a car accident, and Letsie became king again a month later. During the political turmoil of 1970 and 1990, and for a month after his death in 1996, his wife and Letsie's mother, 'Mamohato, acted as regent.

Summary of reign
  • 1960–1966: Paramount Chief Constantine Bereng Seeiso of Basutoland.[3]
  • 1966: crowned as King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho.[3]
  • 1970: exiled from Lesotho.[3]
  • February 1990: stripped of constitutional powers.[3]
  • November 1990: deposed, and his son Letsie III becomes king.[3]
  • 1990–1992: in exile in the UK.[3]
  • January 1995: reinstated as King.[3]
  • January 1996: died, succeeded by Letsie III.[3]


Moshoeshoe II.

The King died at the age of fifty-seven in a road accident, when his car plunged off a mountain road during the early hours of 15 January 1996. The accident also killed the car's driver.[4] According to a government statement, Moshoeshoe had set out at 1 AM to visit his cattle at Matsieng, and was returning to Maseru through the Maloti Mountains when his car left the road.[4]


Moshoeshoe married Princess Tabitha 'Masentle Lerotholi Mojela (later known as Queen 'Mamohato of Lesotho) in 1962, and with her had two sons and one daughter:[3]


Grand Master of the following orders[edit]

Foreign honours[edit]

Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho
Born: May 2 1938 Died: January 15 1996
Regnal titles
Preceded by
as Paramount Chief
King of Lesotho
Succeeded by
Monarchy deposed for some months
Preceded by
King of Lesotho
Succeeded by
Letsie III
Preceded by
Letsie III
King of Lesotho


  1. ^ "Geoff's Peerless Travels". Geoff's Peerless Travels. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  2. ^ Soszynski, Henry. "LESOTHO". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Obituary: King Moshoeshoe II of Lesotho by Benjamin Pogrund in The Independent, 16 January 1996 (accessed 3 November 2007)
  4. ^ a b King of Tiny Land Circled by South Africa Dies in Car Plunge, by Donald G. McNeil Jr in The New York Times, 16 January 1996 (accessed 3 November 2007)
  5. ^ a b c d "Kingdom of Lesotho". Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  6. ^ South African Government Information Archived 2011-01-04 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Badraie Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Badraie". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2014-02-22.