- A union symbolising national harmony -

Celebratory couple: King Letsie III and his wife, Queen Karabo Mohato Bereng Seeisohen King Letsie III wed Karabo Motsoeneng in what was quickly dubbed the ‘Marriage of the Millennium’ two years ago, Lesotho indulged itself in three days of happy celebration.
The wedding, in which the couple plighted their troth in front of a 40,000-strong crowd in the national stadium, was seen as a symbol of national unity. And, as such, it embodied hopes that Lesotho was entering a period of social and political stability after several years of upheaval.
Only two years earlier, riots had broken out when opposition groups disagreed with the results of parliamentary elections, and peace was only restored after the armed forces of South Africa and Botswana intervened.
In 1994, unrest had prompted King Letsie to suspend the constitution in a political crisis that was to pave the way for his father, Moshoeshoe II, to return to the throne a year later.

Moshoeshoe II had abdicated in favour of his son in 1990, in an earlier crisis when the country was under military rule following a coup d’etat in 1986. Letsie III became king for a second time on the death of his father in a road accident in 1996.
For many years, King Letsie III had repeatedly referred to his need to find a wife, most notably when he jokingly urged the assembled heads of state at a summit meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to help him in his quest.
His choice of a wife, now formally known as Queen Karabo Mohato Bereng Seeiso, broke with tradition. It was the first time in the history of modern Lesotho that a royal had married a commoner.
Last October, the royal couple announced the birth of their first daughter. Whether she eventually ascends to the throne remains to be seen as the royal succession is traditionally reserved for the male line.


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