|April 30, 2011
Mswati III told to avoid wedding embarrassment
The controversial absolute monarch, whose country is ranked among the poorest in the world, spent much of his week in London playing hide-and-seek with pro-democracy demonstrators tailing him across London. Mswati was invited as a guest to the wedding of English Prince William at Westminster Abbey. This invitation was met with heavy criticism by human rights and political groups.
However, during the wedding, Mswati was not seen entering the front of the abbey, but apparently used a side entrance to keep a low profile in case of further protest action, according to members of pro-democracy group Swaziland Vigil. "The royal family requested that he enter privately through a back door to avoid controversy," said pro-democracy activist Fungayi Mabhunu. "I only saw a glimpse of him inside."
While some former British prime ministers were excluded from the guest list - notably Tony Blair and Gordon Brown - the list included the likes of Mswati and Zimbabwean ambassador to London Gabriel Machinga, a prominent member of Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF.