OCALA, Fla., April 14, 2014 — Even for King Kiegeli V, life can be lonely at times.
Most often when people say this, they are referring to a lost personal relationship. What about when one is evicted from his country, though? Can there be anything more lonely than forcibly leaving the land where you were born and raised?
READ ALSO: Kigeli V: The king just off of Route 66
Now imagine that this is the place you were born to rule — literally. So goes the story of Kigeli V, Rwanda’s long-displaced monarch.
He presided over the war-torn sub-Saharan African country for just about two years; from 1959 to ’61. Forces beyond his control prevented him from having a long reign. More or less, these can be attributed to the Belgian government, which once dominated Rwanda with an iron grip. Kigeli’s democratic reforms and refusal to engage in ethnocentrism sealed his political doom.
Today, His Majesty is nearing eighty. He lives under humble circumstances in the Fairfax County, Virginia bedroom town of Oakton. The King’s house does not stand alone; it is connected to many others in a nondescript subdivision off of the fabled Route 66. Not far away resides his friend, who holds the title of chancellor.
Charles A. Coulombe heads the Monarchist League’s Los Angeles chapter. His group is devoted to providing for the interests of royals everywhere; a challenging feat in our thoroughly democratic age.
Coulombe says to Communities Digital News that the friendship had by Kigeli and Benzinge “is extraordinary. I have known them for over 20 years, and have met some of Boniface’s family. Their husband and father’s absence has been a tremendous sacrifice all round. This kind of loyalty is foreign to us of course, but is far from unknown in other cultures and in European history.”
Marquis Carl Edward Lindgren served as Kigeli’s Secretary General until the mid-2000s. A career academic and human rights advocate, he has been awarded knighthoods, royal orders, and other honors by leaders the world over. In recognition of his work, Lindgren was ennobled by the late Crown Prince Bao Long of Vietnam. Today, Lindgren lives a genteel life on the Mississippi Delta’s edge.
The Chancellor, Boniface Benzinge, supports both of them by way of a sales job at Sears. He too is elderly; in fact, His Excellency is slightly older than Kigeli.
He is president of the American College of Interdisciplinary Sciences, as well as an assessor at the London College of Teachers.
Lingren tells CDN that the time-tested friendship “goes back to an early stage when they were both very young men, and King Kigeli at times had issues as far as communicating his desires….He had abuse, he had mistreatment, he wasn’t understood, and basically what he did, he asked….if Boniface would be willing to sacrifice the rest of his life and become a helper to the King, and be able to help….with certain issues.
“The King did have a relationship with a woman before he was forced to leave Rwanda, and he still talks of her very fondly, and about the fact that he would have liked to have returned at some earlier stage in his lifetime to resume that romantic relationship. So, Boniface has tried to do the best he can, and as a good Rwandan….he has stood the best with King Kigeli for all of these years.”
Lindgren’s successor is Marquis Albert Alexander Montague, a financial advisor in Fort Lauderdale. The Morgan Stanley Smith Barney first vice president still serves as secretary general and is highly protective of both the King’s public image and legacy.
Before delving into his opinions about the King and Chancellor, he mentioned something to this journalist: “Well, I find, and this is so important because I’ve seen, and I hope this is not the same, but I’ve been a part of — when newspaper reporters have called and they have decided to make an article turn on a very noble man whose one and only concern are not only the people of Rwanda, and what’s going on in the political structure there, but also in all other countries around the world that are dealing with strife, inequality with race, creed, color….where people are not having [their] freedoms, so he feels like a father to his country and feels like he needs to be there helping his country.