Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco has been praised by South Africans for attending the memorial service of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu.
Princess Charlene hit the top of the trends list on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
The king's memorial took place at KwaKhethomthandayo Royal Palace in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal.
This after Twitter users started asking “who is the white lady at the king’s memorial”.
Dressed in full black with a lace veil covering her hair, the royal got tongues wagging on social media thanks to her prominent seating upfront with other members of the Zulu royal family and other VIPs.
Those watching the memorial praised the princess for how she carried herself throughout the service, noting that she was accustomed to Zulu traditions because she stood up and bowed down for elders including Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi.
Many noted how emotional she was throughout the service.
While many were surprised to see a European monarch in attendance, it came as no surprise to others as Princess Charlene has long had a strong bond with the late Zulu king.
So much so that His Majesty considered her a daughter and a member of his family.
The 43-year-old princess, who is a former Olympic swimmer who represented South Africa at the 2000 Games in Sydney, is married to Albert II, who is the reigning Prince of Monaco.
She was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and her family relocated to South Africa when she was 12 years old.
Princess Charlene described the king as her friend, saying they “shared many special moments over the years”.
“King Goodwill Zwelithini was an honourable man with a pure heart.
“We shared many special moments over the years, which I will forever hold dear to me.
“I will miss my friend and pray that the Zulu royal family finds solace and comfort during this time.”
See reactions below:
Princess Charlene of Monaco seems to have been very well acquainted with the Zulu customs. Elegant and respectful. She was raised in South Africa after her family relocated from Zimbabwe. She is a former Olympic swimmer. Married to the Prince Albert II of Monaco. Samthandi❤️ pic.twitter.com/4ajZolkCzh— MaSobode (@Lwazikubeka) March 18, 2021
HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco.— Becky Horne (@Nibbles93786332) March 19, 2021
Only European Royal that attended King Goodwill Zwelithini's funeral. pic.twitter.com/olBDyA1APk
Princess Charlene of Monaco was so emotional— Makhathini (@MAKHATHINI_M) March 18, 2021
So lovely Princess Charlene of Monaco was at the funeral today in Natal, of King Goodwill Zwelithini - so important she keeps in touch with her heritage in SAfrica, for which she has so much love.😘🇿🇦— Janet F Gallagher (@JanetFGallagher) March 18, 2021
We thank Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco for joining the Zulu nation and all SAfricans as we bid farewell to our Monarch. You are one of us. https://t.co/Sxyqhpd02E— The Duke (@TheDukeofOndini) March 18, 2021