The last king of Rwanda is living on public assistance in a small apartment in Virginia, said Ariel Sabar in Washingtonian. King Kigeli V ruled the fractious African nation for just 18 months following the unexpected death of his older brother King Mutara III in 1959. As one of the youngest of Mutara’s 15-odd siblings, the 23-year-old Kigeli never expected to inherit the throne. ���I was carried by the people,” he says. “They took me and put me in front of the [Belgian colonial] governor: Here’s the king.” But less than a month after his coronation, revolution erupted in Rwanda, and newly formed political parties began demanding the monarchy’s abolition. Kigeli was exiled in 1961, and he spent the next three decades moving between African countries, before being granted political asylum by the U.S. in 1992. Now 76, Kigeli says he would like to return to Rwanda as a king, but admits he feels better suited to his modest new life in Oakton, Va. “I can walk wherever I want. I can go out, and people don’t recognize me. In a palace you have a very private life. I prefer living in an apartment because I can meet all the neighbors and the children who come over. I give them sweets. They call me the King of Africa,” he says, laughing. “Ah, it’s good. It’s good.”
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