This true story, the romantic history of the crown prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana) and his beloved, a British typist from a modest background, is powerfully represented in this fiction film by director Amma Asante.
Seretse Khama, the prince of Bechuanaland, meets Ruth Williams, an office clerk from London, in 1947. Liberated by the social changes right after World War II, they immediately feel attracted to each other: she by his hope for a better world, he by her desire to embrace this new world. Despite their differences, they are each other’s equals.
The intended marriage faces considerable opposition: not just from their respective families, but also from the British and South African governments (Bechuanaland was a British protectorate). The idea of a bi-racial couple ruling a country adjacent to a republic that recently implemented apartheid was inconceivable. Diplomatic pressure or no diplomatic pressure, Seretse and Ruth never doubt their love for each other. Their struggle for a life together changed their country forever, and inspired the world.
Text: Dirk van der Straaten