Sobhuza II (July 22, 1899 – August 21, 1982) was King of Swaziland. He was the son of Ngwane V.
His father died on December 10, 1899, when Sobhuza was only a few months old, and his grandmother, Labotsibeni Gwamile Mdluli, acted as regent until December 22, 1921. His nominal reign of over 82 years (1899-1982) is the longest precisely dated monarchical reign on record, although Pepi II Neferkare of Egypt has claim to an even longer one. Sobhuza's actual personal reign of over 60 years (1921-82) saw Swaziland's independence from Britain (September 6, 1968). When the kingdom became independent, it was hoped that the existing tribal government could be modified into a constitutional monarchy. This existed for some time, until April 12, 1973, when he repealed the constitution and dissolved parliament, making himself absolute ruler.
He died in 1982 and was succeeded by his young son Mswati III, after a period of regency by Queen Dzeliwe and Queen Ntombi.
The photograph here was taken in 1907. Sobhuza is with his own mother, Lomawa Nxumalo.
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