Ex-Botswana president recalls Buckingham Palace mix-up

Ex-Botswana president recalls Buckingham Palace mix-up
Ex-Botswana president recalls Buckingham Palace mix-up

Africa-Press – Botswana. You’re a president visiting Buckingham Palace and you’re about to meet the Queen… only for the military officer guarding the door to announce you as president of the wrong country.

That’s what happened to Ian Khama, who was introduced to the Queen, with much fanfare, as the president of Zimbabwe instead of Botswana.

He told Africa Daily’s Alan Kasujja about the slightly surreal experience: “I looked at him to see, why would he do that? Why would he say that? And then I immediately looked at the Queen to see what her reaction would be.”

The Queen gave no reaction at all.

But as Mr Khama sat down beside her, she told him not to worry about the mix-up and explained the officer was new and probably “overwhelmed by the occasion”.

“She knew I wasn’t the president of Zimbabwe, she knew who I was. She made a nice, pleasant excuse for him in case I’d taken offence.

“She was that kind of person. And when you hear how the prime minister goes and briefs her each week you might think: “Is he wasting his time? Is she really up to speed with domestic and world affairs? And I can tell you she is, and she was very much aware of what was going on.”

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