13 Stories

Last King of Rwanda Dies in US Exile

King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa lived his older years in 'impoverished obscurity'

(Newser) - Kigeli V Ndahindurwa—the last king of Rwanda, who only sat on the throne for two years (more than a year of that time in exile)—died Sunday morning at the age of 80, the BBC and Foreign Policy report. "He was a devout and dedicated believer and the... More »

Thailand's People Asked to Avoid 'Joyful' Events

All TV broadcasts switched to black and white in wake of king's death

(Newser) - Thailand has declared a full year of mourning for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was the world's longest-reigning monarch before his death on Thursday at the age of 88. The AP reports that a public holiday was declared Friday, the country's first day without a king in 70 years,... More »

Landscaper Leaving Canada to Become a King in Ghana

'OK. No problem. I will talk to my boss'

(Newser) - A 32-year-old landscaper is leaving Canada to become the king of a 6,000-person tribe in Ghana, the National Post reports. Eric Manu—who's been living in British Columbia for the past three years—got the surprising phone call in July. “So I said, ‘OK. No problem.... More »

Woman Gets Year in Jail for Ripping Up King's Photo

Human rights activist found guilty of 'insulting' Bahrain's King Hamad

(Newser) - The daughter of a well-known Bahraini human rights activist was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail for delivering the ultimate insult to her country's king: ripping up a picture of him, Reuters reports. Zainab al-Khawaja, 32, lost her appeal on a conviction for tearing up a photo of... More »

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Is Dead

Crown Prince Salman will succeed his older brother

(Newser) - The world's No. 1 oil exporter has a new ruler in place: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at about age 90 and was immediately replaced by his brother, Crown Prince Salman. Abdullah, ill with pneumonia of late, had ruled officially as king for the last decade, though he... More »

Scientists Pry Open Coffin of King Murdered in 1160

Swedish scientists test DNA of King Erik the Holy

(Newser) - A cathedral chaplain calls it "a very special occasion," though it sounds rather grisly: Swedish researchers yesterday opened an 850-year-old coffin containing the remains of the country's King Erik IX, who was murdered in 1160 and later made a saint, the AP reports. Scientists plan to study... More »

Why an African King Lives on Public Assistance in Virginia

Rwanda's last royal ruler still yearns to reunite his nation

(Newser) - Figure the last king of Rwanda is living on a swanky estate somewhere in Africa? Try again: Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, who ruled from 1959-61, has spent years living in low-income housing in Virginia, where he likes watching wrestling on TV and handing out candies to kids, reports the Washingtonian . But... More »

Only European King Buried in US Returned to Europe

Remains of King Peter II of Yugoslavia now in Serbia

(Newser) - The number of European monarchs interred in US soil now stands at zero, now that the remains of King Peter II of Yugoslavia have been removed from the Chicago suburb where they rested for more than 40 years. Those remains arrived in Belgrade, Serbia, yesterday, much to the delight of... More »

Murdered French King Getting Head Back

Henri IV's head was stolen by revolutionaries in 1793

(Newser) - Beloved French monarch Henri IV is going to be reunited with his head after more than 200 years. The king, assassinated by a Catholic fundamentalist in 1610, had his head removed from his body by revolutionaries ransacking a royal chapel in 1793. A head presumed to be Henri's was passed... More »

Spencer Pratt Wants to Be King of America

Reality star plans name change. No joke.

(Newser) - Is America ready for King Spencer Pratt? Doesn't matter, because the ever-modest reality star is planning to legally change his name, Star reports. "Spencer says that if there is a Queen of England…there should be a King of America, and he nominates himself for the title," a... More »

Insult This Man, Spend 15 Years in the Pokey

Thai pols accuse foes of slighting king to hamstring them

(Newser) - The crime of insulting a king sounds like a medieval holdover—but in Thailand, an unkind word about King Bhumibol Adulyadej can land you in prison for 15 years. The country's recent political upheaval has coincided with a spike in accusations of maligning the monarch, the Wall Street Journal reports—... More »

Swazi King's Birthday Bash Infuriates Suffering Public

Ruler spends fortune to celebrate turning 40

(Newser) - Swaziland's king is throwing a lavish 40th birthday party for himself and the kingdom this weekend—and Swazis are seething over the extravagance, the New York Times reports. The day marking the double birthday has been dubbed the "40-40 Celebration." But critics of the monarchy point out there's... More »

In Thailand, Everyone Wants to Be in the Pink

The king goes pastel; a fashion craze is born

(Newser) - On the advice of royal astrologers, the ailing Thai king has added pink to his wardrobe, sparking a national fashion trend. The chromatic rush had one clothing chain selling 40,000 pink shirts this month, BBC reports. A woman camping out in a line to buy one said, “Wearing... More »

13 Stories