King Mswati III (born HRH Prince Makhosetive on 19 April 1968) is the current King (Swazi language: Ngwenyama or Ingwenyama) of Swaziland and head of the Swazi Royal Family. King Mswati III was born in Manzini, Swaziland to King Sobhuza II and one of his younger wives Ntombi Tfwala. Mswati was Tfwala’s only child. He attended primary school at Masundvwini Primary School and secondary school at Lozitha Palace School. He then attended from 1983 to 1986 Sherborne School in north-west Dorset, England. HRH Prince Makhosetive was crowned Mswati III, Ingwenyama and King of Swaziland on 25 April 1986 at the age of 18, thus becoming the youngest ruling monarch at the time in the world. Together with his mother Ntombi Tfwala, now Queen Mother (Ndlovukati), he rules the country as an absolute monarch. Mswati III is known for his practice of polygamy (although at least two wives are appointed by the state) and currently has 13 wives. Although Mswati is respected and fairly popular in Swaziland, his policies and lavish lifestyle have led to local protests and international criticism
Mswati III is one of many sons fathered by the previous king, Sobhuza II (who had more than 125 wives during his reign of 82 years), and the only child of Ntfombi Tfwala, also known as Inkhosikati LaTfwala, one of Sobhuza’s younger wives. He was born at the Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital in Manzini, four months before Swaziland attained independence from the United Kingdom. When he and his mother were discharged from the hospital they went to live at one of Sobhuza’s residences, Etjeni, near the Masundwini royal residence. His birth name was Makhosetive (lit. “Kings of Nations”).
As a young prince, Makhosetive attended Masundwini Primary School and later Lozitha Palace School. He sat for the Swaziland Primary Certificate examination in December 1982 at Phondo Royal Residence and received First Class with merit in Mathematics and English. He developed a great interest in the royal guard, becoming the first young cadet to join the Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF).
When King Sobhuza II died on 21 August 1982, the Great Council of State (the Liqoqo) selected the 14-year-old prince Makhosetive to be the next king. For the next four years two wives of Sobhuza II, Queen Dzeliwe Shongwe (1982–1983) and Queen Ntfombi Tfwala (1983–1986), served as regent while he continued his education in the United Kingdom, attending Sherborne School (International College), before he was called back to ascend to the throne.