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Wednesday 22 July 2020

King Cetshwayo

I greatly admire and simultaneously feel sorry for King Cetshwayo - the King of the Zulus, whose well-disciplined and courageous soldiers inflicted a shocking defeat on the British at the Battle of Isandlwana. They won the battle but lost the war, and the King - who, incidentally, personally ensured that the Prince Imperial's belongings were returned to ex-Empress Eugenie - went into exile in Britain. Happily, his graciousness and his story were taken up by a number of prominent people and the British public turned against the officials in S. Africa, who had brought about the war. Cetshwayo became very popular with the British people and he was eventually asked to resume his kingship in Zululand. Unfortunately, rival factions within his kingdom began a campaign against him and he died quite suddenly, ostensibly of a heart attack, but many people believe he was poisoned. I think he was a great king.

There is more about the Prince Imperial's story in my books: "Queen Victoria & the French Royal Families" and "Queen Victoria's Cousins":

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