Birthday of Late King Sobhuza in Swaziland in 2020

Birthday of Late King Sobhuza in Swaziland in 2020
King Sobhuza II of Swaziland
  How long until Birthday of Late King Sobhuza?
This holiday next takes place in 303 days.
  Dates of Birthday of Late King Sobhuza in Swaziland
2021 Swaziland Thu, Jul 22 National Holiday
2020 Swaziland Wed, Jul 22 National Holiday
2019 Swaziland Mon, Jul 22 National Holiday
2018 Swaziland Mon, Jul 23 National Holiday (in lieu)
  Summary
Reigning for over 82 years, King Sobhuza was born on 22 July 1899

Birthday of Late King Sobhuza

The Birthday of Late King Sobhuza is a public holiday in Swaziland (eSwatini), observed on July 22nd each year.

This day marks the birthday of King Sobhuza who was born on this day in 1899.

History of Birthday of Late King Sobhuza

When a roll call of world leaders who have ruled the longest is read out, King Bhumibol of Thailand (70 years), Queens Victoria (63 years) and Elizabeth II (67 years and counting) of the United Kingdom are names that will be familiar to many of us.

What may be less known is that these illustrious monarchs all fall short of the reign of King Sobhuza II, who ruled Swaziland for an astonishing 82 years and 254 days, making his reign the longest verifiable in history. 

Ingwenyama Sobhuza was born on July 22nd 1899. Four months later, on December 10th 1899, the infant Sobhuza became king after the death of his father. As you might expect, King Sobhuza didn't have to perform all his royal duties whilst still a child and his grandmother served as regent, until handing power to her grandson when he was 21.

From almost the start of his reign, his country was a British protectorate. It gained independence in 1968 and Sobhuza was a driving force for independence, even forming a political party which is a very unusual step by a monarch. He also changed the constitution strengthening the power of the King.

Following the traditional tribal practice, Sobhuza had many wives, 70 according to the Swaziland National Trust Commission. His 210 offspring from these consorts earning him the sobriquet, "Bull of Swazi" and also places him at number five in the Wikipedia all-time list of males with the most children.

Sobhuza died on August 21st 1982.

For the length of his reign and his impact on overseeing Swazilands transition to an independent state, it is fitting that his birthday is marked with a public holiday.

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