King of my Country: Welcome Henry Otunde I

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When the British return, things will be all jolly again in Nigeria.

Since November 27, 2017, social media and the Black diaspora have been agog with the official announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement to the stunning American divorcee, actress Meghan Markle – whose mother is an African American who wore her Afro with pride as a young woman. Wait a minute, we know how infamously taboo divorce is in the exclusive clique of the Royal Family. The rocking and charming, flame-haired Prince Harry, whom we all love, like the Black man, Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. President, is from a “broken-marriage” too. The late Princess of Wales had a contentious and controversial divorce from Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the throne of England – and of course, he is Prince Harry’s daddy.

Unlike the case of Prince Harry’s great uncle, Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne of England in favor of marrying the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson, their marriage has neither been challenged by the Crown nor the Church of England. Thus, while Prince Harry retains all his Royal titles and the progeny from their union will be his legitimate heirs, Meghan may even be elevated to Princess—as the Queen of England wishes.

Times are changing in a progressive and multi-cultural England. Although many argue that it is merely because being 5th in line, is so far away from the throne, to have as much consequence as being heir apparent or King, which Edward VIII was. Edward VIII’s abdication and demotion to Duke of Windsor, led to the succession of his younger brother, George VI, to the throne of England—Prince Harry’s great-grandfather. Perhaps it was propitious that the Duke of Windsor’s union with Wallis Simpson produced no offspring. All in all, it is a positive development that the Royal Family has a Princess (or Duchess) of African descent. Interestingly, Meghan Markle is a distant cousin of Prince Harry, being a descendant (on her father’s side) of King John (unclear) and King Edward III.

Incidentally, the controversy surrounding divorce and the British Royal Family did not start with the House of Windsor, but started with the Tudors under a great uncle of Prince Harry’s about 16 or so generations removed, the similarly red-haired and hard partying famous English King, Henry VIII. Many movies and books have been made about his accumulation of six wives, and his break away from the Roman Catholic Church, only to establish a Church of England, now under his sovereignty and more amenable to his quest for an heir, in consonance with rules pertaining to Right of Primogeniture.

Ultimately, while it appeared Henry VIII’s plan for a male heir to the throne was successful, and his control of the Church of England, once Papal authority had been renounced following its refusal to sanction the annulment of King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, so he could marry Anne Boleyn, whom he later beheaded, seemed to have worked out by the time he died supposedly of syphilis, with the death of Edward VI at the age of sixteen, the throne of England would fall in succession to two of his daughters…Phew!

The second daughter of Henry VIII, also flame-haired, Elizabeth I, would become arguably, England’s most able monarch. Known as the Virgin Queen, because she neither married nor had progeny, her demise would end the reign of the House of Tudor. Under the Virgin Queen, England had become a great power; it had a distant colony in the Americas, which would become the great land of Meghan Markle; and her era witnessed the literary genius of the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare.

And if the list of rollicking King Henry VIII’s wives seems too complicated to remember, the ever-humorous Brits have given us a mnemonic device to help us: “Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.”

The British, whose love for the arts has similarly inspired the love of Nigerians’ love for the arts, which is comparable, have even left us two rhymes in honor of Henry VIII’s infamous history with his succession of wives:

King Henry VIII,
To six wives he was wedded.
One died, one survived,
Two divorced, two beheaded.


Boleyn and Howard lost their heads,
Anne of Cleves he would not bed,
Jane Seymour gave him a son – but died before the week was done,
Aragon he did divorce,
Which just left Catherine Parr, of course!

It appears British comfort with pluralism or dualism, is in line with at least the element of dualism among the Yorubas, another merry-making people, in multicultural pluralistic Nigeria, among whom the Royals may feel quite comfortable. Arguably, Prince Harry shares so many similarities to tropes of Blackness, and now with a Black wife to boot (of course also mixed race; but we know in America mixed race is Black, just like Barack Obama is Black, although similarly with a mixed racial heritage.) That is why I make the case for King Harry or King Henry of Nigeria.

Look here Prince Harry, you can come and be King of Nigeria with an appropriate nomenclature – Henry Otunde Obinna Abdul I of Nigeria! Forget about the throne of England, Nigerians have been clamoring for the British to come back, being fed up with its litany of corrupt and incompetent leaders.

Harry is just what we need, the perfect symbol; and a perfect fit – the requisite ‘life of the party’ phenom! King Harry will certainly be a breath of fresh air and welcome change from the anachronistic, gun-toting Nigerian leaders and their retinue of sycophants.

Besides, polygamy is legal in Nigeria; they say broadminded British men, now favor polyamory. Our women “like” to share their men – abi mo puro fine sistahs? (Yoruba idiom emphasizing veracity – “I speak the truth”). When there is a gun held to her head, indeed what options does a woman have available?



Written by
Olurotimi Osha
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