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King's Birthday in Lesotho – July 17, 2023

‘King’s Birthday in Lesotho’ is celebrated on July 17 with gusto. The date was chosen to honor the birth of the current king of Lesotho — King Letsie III — who was born on this day. This monarchy — like so many others around the world — is mostly a symbolic one, however, and the royal family can only exercise minimal actual authority.

History of King's Birthday in Lesotho

The Lesotho region has long been surrounded by imposing mountains and narrow valleys, both of which have afforded this land lots of protection from potential invaders. This protection even extended as far back as the Neolithic Period, when this land was inhabited by hunter-gatherers.

In the 19th century, when the Sotho people led by king Moshoeshoe I settled in this region, this protection served them well too. At least until the British rule of 1868 — the region was declared a British Protectorate—a land controlled and protected by another — and did not officially regain its independence again until 1966. Moshoeshoe II, a descendant of Moshoeshoe I, was crowned as King of the newly-anointed Lesotho. His rule was fraught with tension, however. His opposition to apartheid rule got him deposed twice, and since the region favored a hereditary constitutional monarchy, his firstborn son was required to rule in his father’s stead during the interim period. King Moshoeshoe II was exiled in 1990, reinstituted five years later only to pass away in a car accident the year after that.

When his father died, Prince David Mohato Bereng Seeiso, or Letsie III, became King and has maintained the role ever since. Since 2003, the king’s formal birthday celebrations, which are a big public event, have been cycled across the country. This was done to expose Lesotho locals to the event and allow them to sample diverse cultural delicacies from throughout the country. Special award ceremonies, military parades, special prayers for the nation, and traditional song and dance routines are all part of the festivities.

King's Birthday in Lesotho timeline

1997
King Letsie III's Coronation

The ceremony to crown Letsie III as King of Lesotho takes place, which is held at Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, has a very special witness — Charles, Prince of Wales.

2000
Making Headlines

King Letsie III declares H.I.V./AIDS to be a natural disaster in Lesotho, which inspires immediate national and international responses to help the country fight this epidemic.

2016
A Special Appointment

The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization's latest Special Ambassador for Nutrition is none other than King Letsie III.

2018
The Inspiration Behind 'Wakanda'

The fictional African nation, 'Wakanda,' is reportedly inspired by Lesotho, according to the “Black Panther” film series' director, Ryan Coogler.

King's Birthday in Lesotho FAQs

When was King Letsie the Third born?

King Letsie III was born on July 17, 1963, to the late King of Lesotho, Moshoeshoe II, and his wife, the Queen Mother Mamohato Bereng Seeiso.

How rich is the King of Lesotho?

The current king of Lesotho is one of Africa’s richest royals with a net worth of around $50 million.

What language does Lesotho speak?

Lesotho has two official languages — Sotho and English. A portion of the population also speaks languages like Phuthi, Zulu, and Xhosa.

King's Birthday in Lesotho Activities

  1. Don black and gold

    Wear these colors to represent the community of Makaota, which comprises various villages in Lesotho. You can even adorn your house with black and gold to get in the spirit of these celebrations.

  2. Watch movies inspired by Lesotho

    Have yourself a little Lesotho-themed watch party. You can re-watch super grossers like the “Black Panther series” — and try finding the similarities between Wakanda and Lesotho — and check out movies made in the country, like 2020's “This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection.”

  3. Explore the Lesotho culture

    Hear traditional songs, check out traditional garments, and sample authentic cuisine. To discover more about this culture and its customs, you can find and sign yourself up for cultural activities and other events that celebrate Lesotho.

5 Interesting Facts About Lesotho And King Letsie III

  1. Lesotho's mountains are very high

    “The Maloti Mountains,” where Lesotho is situated, are actually the highest such mountains in Southern Africa.

  2. Their landlocked status is special too

    Lesotho is only one of three independent states, and the only one not on the Italian peninsula that is completely surrounded by the territory of another country.

  3. King Letsie is a Catholic

    And this is worth mentioning because he's the only Catholic monarch of an African nation so far.

  4. Major brands buy their garments

    Lesotho is a big exporter of garments, and major U.S. brands like Gap, Gloria Vanderbilt, JCPenney, Saks, Timberland, Wal-Mart, and Levi Strauss have sourced their products from here.

  5. He's also fond of agriculture

    Various sources close to the king say he spends much of his free time visiting his family cattle posts in Lesotho.

Why We Love King's Birthday in Lesotho

  1. We're witnessing history

    This day introduces the world to the events and people that have shaped this nation into what it is. It's like a sneak peek into someone else's history, and we're excited at this glimpse.

  2. It's especially important for the younger generation

    An event of this scale gives the young population of Lesotho a chance to meet and greet the leaders in power, their cabinets, and their families too. This is a particularly important opportunity as it shows people who their royals are.

  3. It's a land worth learning about

    It's been the inspiration for many famous movies, including one in the Marvel galaxy. Lesotho's capital, Maseru, is also one of Southern Africa's most attractive cities. We, for one, welcome the chance to learn about this wonderful country.

King's Birthday in Lesotho dates

YearDateDay
2023July 17Monday
2024July 17Wednesday
2025July 17Thursday
2026July 17Friday
2027July 17Saturday

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