Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso is the first commoner to marry a member of the Lesotho royal family in modern history. She is a thoroughly modern woman, as well.
Born Anna Karabo Mots’oeneng on June 2, 1976, she the oldest of five children. Between 1990 and 1996, she attended college in the Lesotho capital of Maseru. She then attended the National University of Lesotho for a year, before becoming engaged to King Letsie III. The King was 36, and much like Prince Philippe of Belgium, had a reputation as a shy, long-term bachelor. Letsie, a well-educated and thoughtful man, said he admired Anna Karabo for her own intellectual gravitas. That she was a first class beauty probably also added to the attraction.
The couple was married on February 18, 2000, in a massive ceremony shared by the people of Lesotho. It was estimated some 40,000 people were able to attend. It was a big party, and said to be worth every penny because of the way it brought the politically divided country together in celebration. The King was also embarking on a modern union. He formally announced that Anna Karabo, now Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso, would be his only wife.
The Queen wore both a western gown and traditional wear during the days-long festivities, which took place over several locations. She and the King are shown below making a ceremonial nuptial visit to the village where the King was born.
The couple has three children, two daughters, Princess Senate Mohato Seeiso, Princess ‘Maseeiso, and a son, Prince Lerotholi. The King has a ceremonial role in Lesotho, much like many of his European counterparts. For her part, the Queen serves as patron of the Lesotho Red Cross Society, SOS Children’s Village, People with Disabilities, and the Machabeng International College. Lesotho is a small country, but it has a high rate of AIDS infection. The Queen works diligently in fighting the AIDS epidemic, making the subject less taboo and bringing together the population to combat it through safe reproductive practices. She is a regent of the kingdom whenever her husband is out of the country.
We don’t see much of the Queen unless she travels to a Western country. More’s the pity, as she has a lovely, classic style when wearing Western fashions. She also has been known to rock a feather hat in Cam’s fashion.
In Lesotho, the traditional Basotho tribal wear is very colorful, and the Queen has been seen wearing it for international events, such as the 2019 enthronement of Emperor Naruhito. The traditional Basotho dress is called the seshoeshoe and can be worn in varieties of designs, patterns and colors.
We also get the very occasional glimpse of her fringe tiara, which is in the style of the Baden. I wish we saw more of it, because styles as she has here, with her traditionally themed gown, it is beautiful.
Most recently the Queen and Princess Senate led the vaccine initiative in their country. The modern Queen was photographed getting her first dose.
Lesotho is lucky in that they have such a beautiful, hard-working, and modern Queen. The commoner has made them all proud.