Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso

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'Masenate Mohato Seeiso
Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso.jpg
Queen consort of Lesotho
Reign 18 February 2000 – present
Predecessor 'Mamohato
Born (1976-06-02) 2 June 1976 (age 40)
Mapoteng, Lesotho
Spouse Letsie III of Lesotho
Issue Princess Senate
Princess 'Maseeiso
Prince Lerotholi
Full name
Anna Karabo Motšoeneng
House House of Moshesh
(by marriage)
Father Thekiso Motšoeneng
Mother 'Makarabo
Religion Roman Catholicism

Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso (born June 2, 1976) is the Queen Consort of King Letsie III of Lesotho. She was the first commoner in modern history to marry Royal Family of Lesotho. Since becoming Queen, she has become the Patron of several charities and has worked to promote the work of projects related to HIV/AIDS.

Royal Family of Lesotho
Coats of arms of Lesotho.svg

Early life[edit]

Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso was born Anna Karabo Motšoeneng in Mapoteng in the Berea District, the eldest daughter of the five children of Thekiso Motšoeneng and his wife 'Makarabo. She was christened Anna in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1990 Queen 'Masenate enrolled at the Machabeng International College in Maseru and studied there until 1996, completing a International General Certificate for Secondary Education and a International Baccalaureate Diploma. While attending college, she took party in community service with the Angela School for the Disabled and Centre for the Blind. In 1997 she attended the National University of Lesotho and where she studied for a Bachelor of Science degree; her studies were interrupted by her relationship with King Letsie III of Lesotho.[1]

Relationship with Letsie III of Lesotho[edit]

Queen 'Masenate first met King Letsie III of Lesotho in 1996.[1] This was the same year he became King for the second time, following the death of his father in a road accident.[2]

Engagement and marriage[edit]

In October 1999, two years into her studies at the National University of Lesotho, she became engaged to King Letsie III. They were married on February 18, 2000 in Maseru. He was the only unmarried King in Africa. The ceremony was conducted in the Setsoto Stadium by Archbishop Bernard Mohlalisi, with 40,000 people present including dignitaries such as Nelson Mandela, Festus Mogae and Bakili Muluzi.[3] This marked the first time in the history of modern Lesotho where a royal had married a commoner.[2]

She credited the Royal Family for making her welcome, in particular the influence of Queen Mamohato, the Queen Mother. 'Masenate and Mamohato grew close and the Queen found it difficult when Mamohato died in 2003, but praised her husband for supporting her at the time. In an interview with the Lesotho Times in 2014, she said "I like the fact that he listens when I advise him on various issues that are personal. For instance, I want him to be well-dressed for various functions. And, as the woman of the house, I also recommend a lot of things, food, music, movies and more educative television channels for all of us. His Majesty is a very reserved, respectful, patient, wise and humble person and he is all that in a very sweet way. These are the qualities he has sustained over the years. They have drawn me much closer to him. I love him dearly every day."[4]

Motherhood and children[edit]

Queen 'Masenate and King Letsie have three children; Princess Senate (b. 7 October 2001), Princess 'Maseeiso (b. 20 November 2004), and Prince Lerotholi (b. 18 April 2007).[1] She later explained that she wished she had more children, saying "Maybe I should have had one early after Prince Lerotholi but now my biological clock is telling me the time is up. I have read a lot about reproductive health-related risks and some medical researchers, in their studies, don’t recommend women to consider falling pregnant at my age. When your eggs are no longer that fresh to make a healthy baby, then it’s better to be on the safe side."[4]

Public life[edit]

Charity work[edit]

Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso with King Letsie III in 2013

Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso is involved in a variety of charitable projects, including Patronship of the Lesotho Red Cross Society, the SOS Children's Village, and the Machabeng International College where she studied before becoming Queen. In addition to her work with the charity People with Disabilities, Queen 'Masenate is generally interested in working with projects seeking to improve the voices of disabled people in Lesotho.[1]

Public health work[edit]

She has a strong interest in enabling the work undertaken with HIV/AIDS patients to be spoken of publicly, and has been involved in several awareness programmes in Lesotho. Queen 'Masenate has also undertaken visits to a variety of AIDS projects around the country, including orphanages. She also holds a First Aid Certificate.[1]

Titles, styles, honours and arms[edit]

Titles and styles[edit]

Styles of
Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho
Coats of arms of Lesotho.svg
Reference style Her Majesty
Spoken style Your Majesty
Alternative style Ma'am
  • June 2, 1976 - February 18, 2000: Miss Anna Karabo Motšoeneng
  • February 18, 2000 - present: Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso

Queen 'Masenate acts as the Regent of Lesotho, should King Letsie III be absent from the nation.[1]

Honours[edit]

  •  Lesotho : Prince Mohato Award Bronze Medal (06/1993).[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Monarchy". Lesotho.gov.ls. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "A union symbolising national harmony". World Report. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Lesotho's batchelor king weds". BBC News. February 18, 2000. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "'I'm looking forward to more happiness with His Majesty'". Lesotho Times. June 13, 2014. Retrieved October 20, 2016. 
Vacant
Title last held by
'Mamohato
Queen consort of Lesotho
2000–Present
Incumbent