King of Swaziland wants to make me his (14th) virgin bride, says woman seeking asylum in the UK
A young woman is seeking asylum in Britain after she spurned the advances of the polyamorous King Mswati III of Swaziland (pictured right) and refused to join his harem of 13 wives.
Tintswalo Ngobeni, 22, fled to England from the southern African nation as a teenager after she caught the attention of the millionaire monarch, a notoriously oppressive ruler known for his lavish lifestyle.
As part of Swazi custom, King Mswati III, 45, is permitted to choose a new bride every year.
Miss Ngobeni, who now lives in Birmingham, was just 15 when the King made his advances after seeing her at the palace of his fourth wife, LaNgangaza. She said she was 'terrified' when she learned of his marriage intentions.
She added: 'He started calling me at boarding school. He would ask me if I wanted to be a part of the royal family. I had to keep quiet about my fears but I knew I didn't want to get married to him and have a life devoted to the king.
'His wives are kept in their palace, surrounded by bodyguards, and they can't really go anywhere unless the king says so. The only thing they do is go to America once a year, as the king gives them a shopping allowance.'
Miss Ngobeni was forced to abandon a comfortable lifestyle in a private boarding school as her aunt, who was her chief guardian, arranged the escape to England to join her mother, who moved to Birmingham five years earlier, fleeing an abusive husband.
'I didn't have a choice,' she said. 'Nobody has ever turned down the king or dares to disobey him, so I just disappeared.'