Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The British Aristocracy & Zimbabwe

On the eve of our 32nd independence anniversary, I would like to point out to readers some keen links between my beloved nation of Zimbabwe and card-carrying members of Britain's aristocracy.

In the picture above are, from left to right: Robert Mugabe, Lord Soames and Prince Charles. Lord Soames, the heavy-set and jovial figure in the middle of the picture, was the last Governor-General of Southern Rhodesia, serving from Dec 1979 to April 1980. Prince Charles had arrived in Zimbabwe just prior to independence in 1980 to represent the British Govt at the Independence ceremony.

Now, although Prince Charles was already involved in a relationship with Lady Diana Spencer (his future wife), his official hostess/consort to the Independence ceremony was Camilla Parker-Bowles, an old girlfriend with whom he had kept up a relationship & who he would marry years later. Here she is pictured below (in a much younger-looking photo).

But Camilla Parker-Bowles was already married to one Colonel Andrew Parker-Bowles, who just happened to be stationed in Zimbabwe as the senior military liaison officer to Lord Soames . And below is a picture from late 1979 of Colonel Andrew Parker-Bowles (on the left) and the Zanla Commander, Rex Nhongo (in the middle of the picture, dressed in military fatigues).

If this all sounds too strange to be true, just bear in  mind that the British aristocracy are known for their complicated romantic entanglements, as well as for their love of all things African. This genuine love is reciprocated by African leaders like President Robert Mugabe and President Jacob Zuma who are famed for their Anglophilia (and indeed, for their own complicated romantic entanglements).

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