Burundi Royal Family

The Burundi royal family is the reigning family of Burundi as a monarchy before it was abolished in 1966. The royal family are considered to be of Ganwa and not neither Hutu or Tutsi ethnic groups.

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The Kingdom of Burundi began in the 1500s century until 1966 when it was abolished by the government of prime minister Michel Micombero. Six years later the last King 24 year old King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye was killed in 1972 after trying to take back the throne.

The last ruling royal family

The ruling house was called the royal house of Ntwero. While the family is huge with having many descendants of previous kings, this post will feature mainly the royal family in the main line and in the modern photography world.

Mwambutsa Royal Line

The descendants of this line are the last Roy family that ruled Burundi from 1915 to 1966. This includes king Mwambutsa iv, his son King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye, his son crown prince Louis Rwagasore, and daughters crown Princess Rosa Paula Iribagiza Mwambutsa and princess Regina Kanyange of Burundi.

King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye of Burundi

HM late King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye, the last King of Burundi.
He was the last born child and son of late HM King Mwabutsa iv of Burundi and his second wife late HM Queen Baramparaye of Burundi.
His father was removed from the throned and he succeded in 1966 june. However he reigned for a few months until November 1966 when ye prime minister Michel Micombero overthrew the monarchy.
The king tried to take back the throne in 1972 but was assassinated by the then authorities. His body has never been found despite many searches by the royal family and burundi current government. He died at 24 years unmarried.

King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi

HM late King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi. He reigned from 1915 to 1966. He succeded his father HM King Mutaga iv.
He was married to HM late Queen Therese Kanyonga (divorced) and later to HM late Queen Baramparaye of Burundi.
He was father to late Crown Prince Louis Rwagasore, Crown Princess Rosa Paula iribagiza, late Princess Regina Kanyange and late King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye.
He died in 1977 and is buried in Switzerland according to his wishes.

Queen Baramparaye of Burundi

HM late Queen Baramparaye was the second wife of late HM King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi. Born in 1929, she married him in 1946 at the age of 18. Together they had a son, the late King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye, last king of Burundi. After the fall of the monarchy she lived a simple life neglected by the Burundi government. She died in 2007 at the age of 80 receiving a state funeral. Below is a link about her royal life.


Queen Therese Kanyonga of Burundi

HM late Queen Therese Kanyonga was the first wife of HM late King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi. Together they had three children namely : prince Louis Rwagasore, Princess Rosa Paula Iribagiza and Princess Regina Kanyange of Burundi. They later on divorced.

Prince Louis Rwagasore of Burundi

HRH late Prince Louis Rwagasore of Burundi.
He was the eldest son of late HM King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi and his first wife HM Queen Therese Kanyonga of Burundi.
He was also a prime minister of Burundi shortly before independence. Prince Rwagasore was assassinated by a Greek national and 3 Burundians who were members of the rival party that was pro belgian in 1961 at hotel Tanganyika. He was married to Princess Marie Rose Ntakimevyo in 1959. They had two daughters who died in childhood after a vaccine reaction. He is buried at the Louis Rwagasore national memorial and is usually celebrated in Burundi as an independence hero. Every 13 October is celebrated as Louis Rwagasore day in Burundi.


Crown Princess Rosa Paula iribagiza Mwambutsa of Burundi

HRH Crown Princess Rosa Paula Iribagiza Mwambutsa of Burundi. She is the only surviving child of late HM King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi and is the only surviving sibling of late HM King Ntare v Charles Ndizeye of Burundi. She was installed as head of the Royal family and heir of her father in the early 2000s and is recognised by the government of Burundi as such. However some suggest it’s against the tradition of male succession. She has served as a member of Parliament in Burundi government. She has 7 children. Four of her children are from her first marriage to Prince Andre Muhirwa, who was a prime minister of Burundi at one time. The other 3 are from past relationships.

Princess Regina Kanyange of Burundi

HRH late Princess Regina Kanyange was the last daughter of late HM King Mwambutsa iv and late Queen Therese Kanyonga. She was married with children. The Ndenzako female royal line is descended from her.

The Kamatari royal line

Prince Ignace Kamatari of Burundi

The Kamatari line descendants originate from Prince Ignace Kamatari of Burundi. He was the brother of HM late King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi. He was assassinated in 1970 and his family escaped to exile in Europe. He was married thrice with 4 sons and 4 daughters.

Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi

HH princess Esther kamatari of Burundi is the most famous member of the Burundi royal family. She is the daughter of late HRH Prince Ignace Kamatari (older brother of HM King Mwambutsa iv of Burundi) and one of his three wives Princess Agrippine. She ia therefore a cousin to the Princess Rosa Paula iribagiza Mwabutsa of Burundi. In 197o her father was assassinated forcing the family to exile in France. She started her modelling career and is today termed as the ever first black French model. With her charitable foundation she has helped many children and underprivileged people in Burundi during hard times. She was the face of guerlain French fashion house and still models at the age of 68. She has wished to run for president of Burundi with the Abahiza monarchist party. She is married to a French doctor with four children.

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Photos courtesy of uMwami Mwambutsa page /Facebook and private collections.

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