Queen regent Mantsebo Seeiso of Lesotho

Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho is a tiny nation encircled in South Africa known for its mountains and rich basotho blankets and horses. It is nicknamed the mountain kingdom of Africa, the Switzerland of Africa sldue to its cold temperatures during winter. It is a constitutional monarchy ruled by an only male succession rule to the throne. The country is ruled but the house of Moshoeshoe named after its first King moshoeshoe i who consolidated various clans to become the supreme monarch.

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However there has been a female monarch in Lesotho then called Basutoland. Mantsebo Seeiso was a queen consort or Mofumahali of Lesotho then Basutoland as the wife of late Paramount chief or Morena Simeon Seeiso Griffith who died in 1940 after a year on the throne.

Queen Mantsebo was the first senior wife of the late monarch of the basotho. Together they had a daughter who couldn’t inherit the throne as per tradition. The next in line was her step son the later King Moshoeshoe ii from the second wife who was young at the time.

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The royal elders decided to have a selection of who would become regent for the young boy. The battle was between the late Paramount chiefs brother and Queen Mantsebo. Despite much resistance from the brother who supprted tradition against femal rule, Mantsebo was installed as regent in 1941. She was now to bear the title Morena as regent. She would become regent for the next 20 years until 1960 when she gave up the throne to her step son King Moshoeshoe ii of Lesotho.

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During his time in the United Kingdom for his studies, Queen regent Mantsebo made various trips to London to visit her step son and meet the monarch of UK. Queen regent Mantsebo was honoured with the order of the British empire by King George vi of UK during his tour of southern Africa with his family.

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Queen regent Mantsebo is recognised has having set foundations for Lesotho constitutional monarchy. She died in 1964.

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