Lesotho: The Decline of Kings

Kings do not thrive in black Africa.

Buganda's King "Freddy" Mutesa, 42, lost his palace—and nearly his life—last May. Burundi booted out its boy ruler, Ntare V, last month. Last week monarchic malaise infected Africa's newest nation, three-month-old Lesotho (formerly Basutoland), a country of 900,000 that is completely surrounded by South Africa.

The crisis was brought to a head by Oxford-educated Constantine Bereng Seeiso Moshoeshoe II, 28, who was left little more than a figurehead monarch by his country's new constitution. As the namesake and great-grandson of the founder of Basutoland, Moshoeshoe (pronounced...

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