King Letsie III, the monarch whose coronation brought King Charles to Lesotho

Stephen Nartey March 29, 2023
King Letsie III/Photo credit: Royalty & Pomp

King Letsie III ascended to the throne of Lesotho on February 7, 1996, after the sudden death of his father, King Moshoeshoe II. His coronation ceremony took place on October 31, 1997, at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The coronation was a momentous occasion for the people of Lesotho, who gathered from all over the country to witness the historic event.

Dignitaries from around the world were also in attendance, including King Charles III – who was then Prince Charles, to honor the new king. It’s been the last since such an event was held in Lesotho. Those who recall it have memories of courtesies paid to tradition.

Such ceremonies commence with the traditional arrival of the royal family, led by the new king and his queen. The couple is dressed in traditional Basotho attire, which consists of a blanket draped over the shoulders and a traditional hat. The coronation ceremony is presided over by the Archbishop of Lesotho, who blesses the king and the royal family.

In the case of King Letsie III, the Prime Minister of Lesotho presented him with the symbols of his office, including a shield, a spear, and a stick. After this, the new king is crowned with a golden crown, and the national anthem is played, according to the office of the king.

The coronation ceremony is followed by a series of cultural performances and festivities, including traditional dances and music. The people of Lesotho celebrate the coronation of their new king with joy and pride, essentially to mark the beginning of a new era for their country.

King Letsie III has been known by his people since his childhood. He is the first son of the late King Moshoeshoe II and Queen Mother Mamobato Bereng Seeiso. He was born at the Scott Hospital in Morija on July 17, 1963, named Mohato Bereng Seeiso, and baptized into the Catholic Church as David. He had his formal education in Lesotho and the United Kingdom in fulfillment of a family tradition.

He took interest in legal education and agriculture. Since his coronation, King Letsie III has been a respected and beloved leader of Lesotho, known for his commitment to peace, democracy, and development. He has worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of his people and to strengthen the bonds of unity and solidarity among all of Basotho.

King Letsie has done this through his immense interest in agriculture and promoting its use as a vehicle to improve the life of the people. Also as patron of the Prince Mohato Award, a scheme designed to unearth the skills of the youth, he channels their interest into being responsible, enterprising, and demonstrating maturity in whatever they do.

Those who excel in the various designed activities are awarded. During his free period, King Letsie walks his vision by tending to the family cattle posts. He weaves this into his sporting interests including horse riding, tennis, and rugby. He enjoys classical and traditional music.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: March 29, 2023

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